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Pubdate: Wed, 18 Aug 2004
Source: Meridian Booster (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004, The Lloydminster Meridian Booster
Author: Leo Pare
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


At Least One Local Farmer Won't Be Smiling When Harvest Time Comes
Around This Year.

This past Thursday Kitscoty RCMP busted a large scale drug operation
on a farm near Streamstown after following up on a tip from a local
Enhanced Policing member.

Police discovered and seized over 400 mature marijuana plants,
estimated to have a street value of more than $250,000.

The smell of 'wacky tobaccy' is strong in the RCMP detachment, but no
one seems to mind as the illegal drugs are now out of circulation and
slated for destruction.

"The plants were very well grown and in good condition," said Const.
Mike McGinley of the Kitscoty RCMP. "The heat and the rain we've had
this year have made for some good growing conditions."

McGinley estimates that the six-foot tall plants were likely planted
around May alongside another high-standing crop. He said the plants
were likely only a week to 10 days from harvest, making the bust that
much more significant.

"This is a large bust for this county in recent times," he said. "This
will put a fairly good dent in the local trade."

No arrests have been made so far and the investigation is ongoing.
Although there are suspects, adequate evidence is still needed to link
them to the grow operation.

McGinley said a bust of this scale is good for a detachment as small
as Kitscoty's.

"Stuff like this tends to only happen in the larger centres," he

Kitscoty RCMP credit the vigilance of a member of the community for
bringing the operation to the attention of the County Mountie for the
significant disruption of the local drug trade.

"This really shows a good relationship between the County Mountie and
the people in the area," said McGinley. "He is really trusted by some
of the locals."

Lloydminster RCMP Staff Sgt. John Heibert said the bust is certainly
significant for the Kitscoty RCMP, but will do little to slow the
booming drug trade in Lloydminster.

"It doesn't matter where you are. As soon as somebody is removed from
the scene, somebody else takes their place right away," he said.

"It's not going to have a significant impact on our operation here in
the city.  Every little bit certainly helps us, but drugs are still
readily available." 
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