(KING, ON) – A southern Ontario marijuana grow operation has been roached, resulting in legal issues for two males.
Investigators with the York Regional Police Organized Crime Bureau – Guns, Gangs and Drug Enforcement Unit have executed a search warrant at a cannabis grow operation in the Township of King and seized 635 pounds of harvested cannabis and more than 4,000 plants, totalling a street value of $6.5 million.
On Thursday, July 26, 2018, officers with York Regional Police were assisting Township of King Bylaw, Region of York Public Health and Township of King Fire and Emergency Services with a safety inspection of a property located at 570 Strawberry Lane, following complaints from the community.
During the inspection, a large-scale cannabis grow operation was discovered. Further investigation revealed that there were three Health Canada licences in place that allowed for each licence holder or their designate to grow a total of 875 plants on their behalf for medical purposes.
On Friday, July 27, 2018, a search warrant was executed on the property, which included a house and 22 greenhouses. It was discovered the number of plants far exceeded the limit permitted by the licences and the cannabis was being grown in an unregulated, illegal and unsafe manner, with no quality control, environmental considerations or security measures. Two men who were maintaining the plants have been charged.
“This criminal enterprise was operating well in excess of Health Canada authorizations to grow cannabis for medical purposes,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe.
“Over and above the community safety risks associated to unsafe wiring and the use of chemicals, all too often, police are identifying personal and designated production licence holders that are growing excessive amounts of cannabis under Health Canada authorizations. The product is then diverted to the illicit market by organized crime groups to supply illegal dispensaries, export outside of Canada and trafficked in our local communities.”
As a result of the investigation , 43-year-old Samkeo VANVILAY, and 36-year-old Chi Chung Phan have been charged with:
- Possession of Marihuana for the purpose of trafficking.
- Produce Marihuana
The investigation is ongoing.
Source: York Regional Police Media Release