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RCMP seize 265 plants in Alberni grow-op bust

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A man and woman in Port Alberni are facing drug and weapons charges after RCMP took down their grow-op.

The bust happened on Jan. 18 when police raided a residence in the 3700 block of 14th Avenue, RCMP Cpl Jen Allan said.

Police seized 265 marijuana plants growing inside the house and in a garage on the property. Police also seized scales and a shotgun, Allan said.

The crop was valued at approximately $1,000 per plant but the price can fluctuate so no hard dollar figure could be applied, Allan said.

A 41-year-old Port Alberni man and a 29-year-old woman from Royston, B.C. were arrested then released.

Charges recommended against the pair include production of marijuana and possession for the purposes of trafficking. The man also faces a weapon possession charge, which violates a previous court order against him. No theft of hydro was involved, Allan said.

In December 2012, police searched a residence for drugs in the Sproat Lake area. Police found marijuana plants but their quantity was consistent with the medical license that allowed their growth, Allan said.

Grow-ops have the potential to attract violence to a neighbourhood because they are susceptible to extortion and grow-op robberies, also known as grow-rips.

Common signs of a grow-op include:

  • Residents at home in spurts
  • Residence access through garage only
  • Going from no visitors to frequent visitors for short periods
  • Windows covered with dark plastic or newspaper
  • Skunk-like odour of marijuana
  • Little or no garbage or unusual items(e.g. pots and soil, fertilizer containers, wiring, PVC piping)
  • Hydro meter tampered with or bypassed.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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