HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Pot Starts To Rot Before Fatigued Police Respond
Pubdate: Sat, 23 Oct 2004
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2004 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: David O'Brien
Bookmark: (CN Police)


About one kilogram of marijuana was rotting in a garbage bin behind a
Sherbrook Street apartment block yesterday, pot leaves littered the
hallways and the smell of drug use wafted throughout the 30-suite
building. But the building superintendent, hired recently to clean up
the place and kick out the riff-raff, said he hasn't been able to get
police to respond to his calls. The man, who said he can't be
identified because the building's owners don't want the publicity,
said he called police four days ago, asking them to put a stop to the
illegal activity.

No one responded, so he called the police drug unit on Thursday and
left a message on an answering machine, but still no response.

Winnipeg police have been overwhelmed by the dramatic proliferation of
hydroponic marijuana operations and conducted a series of drug raids
yesterday across the city.

Police spokesman Bob Johnson said investigators have about 700 to
1,000 outstanding tips on drug operations that they have not had time
to investigate.

"We get calls every single day of the year about this," Johnson

Police want the public's help, he said, but the information must be
specific before officers will respond promptly. He said he wasn't
aware of the building superintendent's complaint, but noted that he
may only have provided general information about problems in an
apartment block when he called police.

"Basically, it sounds like he wanted us to start an investigation,"
Johnson said. "Believe me, we're too busy to drop everything and start
a new investigation just like that."

The superintendent said his building is overrun with drug dealers,
addicts and prostitutes.

He said he believed the marijuana was tossed in the garbage bin
because it had started to rot before the owner was able to dry it.

Marijuana plants need to be dried, but some small operators sometimes
use their kitchen ovens to get the job done faster, he said.

However, there's only so much pot that can be cooked at one time in a
stove, he said. If the grower has a large quantity, some of it will
rot if it isn't dried soon. The man said it's possible some marijuana
is being grown in the building, but he believed the pot in the garbage
bin came from a large shipment that was brought into the block for

"I wanted them (police) to do a sweep, bring in their dogs if
necessary, and go through the place," he said.

"I want this place cleaned up (and) I can't do it by myself."
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