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Support Called in For Large Grow-op

By Hempology | September 28, 2006


27-camp_1.jpgSometimes bigger is better, particularly when it enables one to draw on additional resources to help accomplish a goal.

A recent outdoor grow-op involving 7,500 marijuana plants that were close to being ready to harvest was one such an example of the benefits of being part of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachments.

“This recent case is a good example of the real benefits of integrated policing ( with the UFVRD ),” says Sergeant Mike McCarthy with the Agassiz RCMP.

The outdoor grow-op, located up a forestry road in the Elbow Lake area, was first reported to RCMP by a helicopter pilot who spotted the grow-op from the air and reported the GPS location to the RCMP. The grow-op was located within 48 hours of it being reported.

“When a possible grow-op is reported to us the Agassiz members will review the information and do any of the investigative work that needs to be done and then we will call in the necessary support resources from Chilliwack,” says Sergeant McCarthy.

The outdoor grow-op that was discovered recently, required between 8-10 people to dismantle it and provide the necessary security for those working.

The grow-op was located on Wednesday, September 20 and dismantled on Thursday.

“Just the dismantling took a full day and that does not include the follow up investigation that will be done. Having the integrated policing makes some matters far more efficient. In a case like this a stand alone police detachment of our size would have required additional time to plan and obtain the necessary resources to carry it out,” says McCarthy.

Once the area, that was etched out of the wilderness, was cleared of all the plants and piled into large piles they were burned. Disposal of outdoor grow-ops vary and each one is dependent on the situation, says McCarthy.

Every year towards late summer the Agassiz RCMP, with other community policing units that make up part of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment, do a fly over of the area in a helicopter looking for the distinctive colour that marijuana plants have from the air.

“As isolated as some of these grow-ops are our ability to find them is still pretty good. Every year we locate multiple grow-ops through these helicopter fly overs,” says McCarthy.

The Agassiz RCMP encourages people to report any suspicious activities or sightings. “That is how a lot of these investigations get started – they start out small but it grows from there,” says McCarthy.

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