HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Violence Increasing With Added Grow Ops
Pubdate: Fri, 29 Oct 2004
Source: Abbotsford Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Abbotsford Times
Author: Ken Henry
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


As the number of marijuana growing operations has increased throughout
Abbotsford and the rest of B.C. so has the number of pot rip-offs.

That's been the suspected case twice in the past two weeks in
Abbotsford. On Wednesday afternoon Abbotsford police arrested three
men in their 20s after they were caught breaking into a home in the
32000 block of Atwater Crescent. Officers at the scene discovered a
marijuana growing operation and believe that's the reason the suspects
targeted the house. Last week police responded to a possible shots
fired call at a home at 29655 Fraser Highway and heard reports of two
suspects running away with full garbage bags. The victims of the
incident did not co-operate with police.

"Obviously marijuana grow ops . . . are a fairly lucrative business,"
said Abbotsford police Staff Sgt. Carl Vreeman. "It's also equally
lucrative to go and take the proceeds of those efforts and there are
people out there that are willing to do that."

Marijuana sells for about $2,000 a pound on average. Police say
there's usually four crops a year, and each plant can yield as much as
three to four ounces of marijuana for each harvest. So a growing
operation with 400 plants could net as much as $800,000 in one year.

One of Abbotsford's most severe grow rip cases was Nov. 7 when three
suspects entered a home at 34416 Clayburn Rd. and killed Laura
McCormick, 40, and shot her boyfriend Roger seven times - five times
in the face - before taking their marijuana stash. Roger survived but
is physically no longer capable of functioning properly. He's been
through 12 operations, is blind in one eye, is deaf in one ear, has a
large chunk of his jaw missing and has bullet fragments and lead
throughout his face and head.

Const. Shinder Kirk said anyone with a growing operation is at risk.

"Certainly if you are going to engage in growing marijuana the chances
of being ripped off or meeting some kind of violence increases
greatly," he said. "Anything to do with drugs or the drug trade can
lead to violence."
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