ALERT busts marihuana grow operation near elementary school, two charged

Edmonton…The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams dismantled a marihuana grow operation near an Edmonton elementary school and charged two people with numerous drug-related offences.

ALERT’s Combined Special Forces Enforcement Unit-Edmonton (CFSEU-Edmonton) executed a search warrant at 11349 – 101 Street where they seized 172 marihuana plants from a partially harvested operation. An additional 45 plants, which would yield several pounds of processed marihuana, were found in a drying room.

The team also discovered an electrical bypass, which is commonly used to acquire the large amount of power needed for a grow operation and poses a serious fire hazard. Alberta Health Services was dispatched to evaluate the contaminated house and deemed it unfit for human habitation due to substantial mould and water damage.

“The conditions we encountered in this home were definitely some of the worst our team has ever seen,” explained ALERT CFSEU Acting Sergeant Ray Savage. “Not only was the home extremely damaged, but also the health and safety hazards were significant, and the fact that it’s located near a school is even more

Minh CHUNG, age 35, is charged with production of marihuana, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and theft of electricity.

Quyen CHEN, age 51, is charged with production of marihuana, possession for the purpose of trafficking, theft of electricity, and proceeds of crime.

“Marihuana grow operations jeopardize the safety of communities across the province,” said Acting Sergeant Ray Savage. “Grow ops cause fire and health hazards and can lead to violence. ALERT encourages people to be on the lookout for signs of a grow op and to always report it.”

Members of the public can learn more about how they can spot a marihuana grow operation on the ALERT website. The public can report suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods anonymously by phoning Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

ALERT is an umbrella organization established by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. Close to 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.