HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Marijuana Grow Labs Harder To Spot
Pubdate: Thu, 02 Dec 2004
Source: Era-Banner, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Era-Banner
Author: Martin Derbyshire
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Latest Pot Blitz Hits 19 Homes

York Region's marijuana grow house issue isn't going away, it's just
getting harder to combat.

Outside a Richmond Hill grow house during October's eight-day blitz
dubbed "operation weed out", Det. Don Cardwell said smaller marijuana
grows that do not steal electricity are becoming more common

"That's the trend now, they're paying through the meter. We're not
getting the (hydro) thefts, so it's more difficult for us to obtain
the warrants. It's more time consuming," he said.

Police have been working with hydro utilities to catch marijuana
growers who use massive amounts of electricity and bypass hydro meters
to avoid detection.

In response, growers seem ot have scaled back their

But police are now doing more follow-up on raids, rather than simply
raiding as many operations as possible, Det. Cardwell said.

The payoff of a more thorough investigation is tougher sentences,
including seizing assets of convicted growers, Det. Cardwell said.
"Organized crime runs on money."

More than $5 million worth of marijuana was seized from Nov. 15 to

During the operation, 19 suspected grow houses were raided.

Of those, only three were diverting electricity. The rest were
small-scale operations and were using the hydro meter, police said.

Fifteen people were arrested and charged with 38 drug-related offences
and a total of 5,595 marijuana plants were seized, as well as $2,075
in cash.

Another disturbing trend was the discovery of three furnaces that had
been disconnected, causing carbon monoxide to leak throughout the
homes. Growers mistakenly believe the disconnected furnaces would emit
carbon dioxide that would assist in the growth of the plants, police

There was evidence children lived in these homes and, in total, eight
children were taken into care by the York Region Children's Aid
Society throughout the blitz.

For information, contact police.
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