Police busy busting pot plantations
As much as $1.6-million worth of marijuana is off the streets after a week-and-a-half of raids on Kamloops-area grow-ops.
During the past 10 days, Kamloops RCMP drug-section officers raided four marijuana-grow operations in rural areas near the city, Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said, resulting in the seizure of more than 2,000 plants and five firearms.
The most sophisticated of the dismantled grow-ops was in the 7900-block of Seven Lakes Road, near Red Lake, north of Savona.
The bust yielded only 50 pot plants, Learned said, but the operation included four large sea containers — metal boxes used for shipping goods on ships and trains — buried underground and fitted with power and water for growing marijuana.
“That takes the whole concept of cultivation to another level,” Learned said, noting a “fish-bearing waterway” was damaged by the grow-op, which could bring further environmental charges.
“They had to dam that [the waterway] to excavate the lower part of the waterway bed,” he said.
Also found at the Seven Lakes Road site was a stolen travel trailer, worth an estimated $30,000.
The largest of the four busts was in the 2800-block of Paradise Road in Pinantan Lake.
There, Learned said, officers seized more than 1,500 plants and 1,000 grams of dried marijuana.
A few blocks away from the Paradise Road property, investigators say they found another grow-op — this time at a home in the 2900-block of McCreight Road, also in Pinantan Lake.
Learned said officers uncovered 612 plants, 850 grams of dried pot and three firearms — a semi-automatic rifle, a sawed-off shotgun and a .22-calibre rifle.
The fourth bust was made in the 2900-block of Harbridge Drive, off Tranquille-Criss Creek Road, north of Kamloops Lake.
There, Learned said, Mounties encountered a grow-op that had recently been harvested.
No plants were found, but officers found a small amount of dried marijuana and two rifles.
No arrests were made in any of the four busts, which investigators don’t believe are related, but are linked to organized crime.
Learned said nobody was at any of the properties when the warrants were being executed.
However, he said, police know who they are looking for and expect arrests and charges soon.