September 11, 2013
Edmonton…Following a two-month investigation, ALERT’s Green Team North (GTN) has concluded an investigation into a suspected marihuana grow operation set-up in a home that was also being used to provide private babysitting services.
Last week, GTN, an integrated team made up of Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and RCMP members, executed a search warrant at a property in southwest Edmonton. The home at 10454 69 Avenue was found to house a small, 17 plant hydroponic marihuana grow operation. A small quantity of processed marihuana and cannabis resin were also found within the home.
Believing that the property was also being used to provide private babysitting services, GTN was assisted by the Edmonton Police Service Child at Risk Response Team (CARRT) at the time of the warrant execution. CARRT is providing support to the affected families.
Two adults, a husband and wife, believed to be operating the babysitting service, along with their two young children, were located in the home. As well, two other young children were also present. It is believed a total of seven children, between the ages of two and five-years-old, were being cared for at the home.
“When we entered the property, we found electrical modifications to the furnace, along with fertilizers and chemicals present,” commented Det. Cory Buerger. “Yes, it was a relatively small grow op by our standards, but that doesn’t make it any less serious, especially when you have toddlers crawling around in that environment.”
Due to the presence of the marihuana grow operation, mechanical modifications, and other issues associated to the home, an Alberta Health Services Inspector attended the address and deemed the home unfit for human habitation.
Colby Robert ATCHESON, age 32, and Tina LEMIRE, age 30, have been jointly charged with two counts of production of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, three counts of willfully causing a child to be drug endangered contrary to the Drug Endangered Children Act, and two counts of causing a child to be in need of intervention contrary to the Child Youth Family Enhancement Act.
Both accused made their first court appearance on September 5 and were granted bail. Their next court appearance is scheduled for September 26 in Edmonton.
To report suspicious activity or a suspected marihuana grow operation in your community, contact police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). For information on how to spot a marihuana grow operation, visit www.alert-ab.ca/growops
Green Team North is part of CFSEU-Edmonton, an ALERT team established and funded by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. Nearly 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.
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Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)