Kelowna police snag 1,200 plants in latest grow-op bust

Illegal drug producers should be on high alert, as it appears as though Kelowna Mounties are on a crime-fighting roll.

Illegal drug producers should be on high alert, as it appears as though local Mounties are on a crime-fighting roll.

A grow-op in Kelowna’s Upper Mission was busted last week, topping up the number of pot plants seized in the last month by 1,200.

The RCMP’s latest bust in the 500 block of Gowen Place, came by way of an anonymous tip called in over the weekend.

The person believed to behind the grow-show is a 33-year-old West Kelowna man who actually turned himself into police. He faces charges of Production of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking and Theft of Hydro.

He has been released and is scheduled to appear in court later this year. Charges may also be brought forward against at least one other local man.

Since late January, police had shut down five marijuana grow-ops in the Central Okanagan.  Among the more significant busts were a warehouse next to a home on Belgo Road with 3,600 plants and a home in the Upper Mission that contained 5,500 plants.

Police also seized 23.5 litres of GHB, five gallons of unprocessed marijuana oil, over $12,000 in cash and several thousand dollars worth of growing equipment.

Clark also said that despite the high volume of drugs being raked in, it’s not as though the local cops are on a spree. Their recent successes are just the result of  ongoing  investigations.

“They have been able to come to a point where the investigation basically produced enough information to obtain a search warrant,” said Clark.

Clark explained that drugs seized by police are destroyed according to parameters set by Health Canada, while cash findings are generally passed on to the Crown.

As for the homes that house grow-ops, bylaw officers have to deal with them following the discovery of a drug operation.

Oftentimes the homes are rental property, which create headaches for landlords.

It’s incumbent on them, however, to do their due diligence.

“Being a landlord is difficult,” Clark said. “They should do a monthly check … it’s within the rights and abilities set out in the Residential Tenancy Act.”

Kelowna Capital News