ALERT Green Teams turn up the heat on rural grow ops this summer

July 24, 2012

ALERT Green Teams turn up the heat on rural grow ops this summer
Police asking the public to be on the lookout and report suspicious activity

Edmonton…With summer in full swing, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s (ALERT) Green Teams are reminding residents to be on the lookout for rural and outdoor marihuana grow operations.

ALERT Green Teams, integrated teams made up of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service and RCMP members, investigate and dismantle marihuana grow operations in rural and urban Alberta. Between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012, ALERT seized more than 57,000 marihuana plants, valued at nearly $69 million if sold at the street level.

Marihuana grow operations present significant safety hazards in rural and urban Alberta. Often, ALERT’s Green Teams uncover electrical bypasses, which are commonly used to acquire the large amount of power needed for a grow operation and are extreme fire hazards.

“We are asking rural Albertans to watch for grow ops this time of year,” said Green Team’s A/Sgt. Ray Savage, “While many people think grow ops are limited to cities, growers are drawn to rural areas where they feel their activity is more concealed and may go unnoticed. This is why it’s so important to be on the lookout.”

Signs of a rural or outdoor marihuana grow operation include:

  • lime green vegetation concealed from roads or hidden within other crops;
  • residents who appear to be living in the area temporarily;
  • construction materials or the construction of temporary structures;
  • isolated greenhouse structures;
  • pumps, generators or other equipment not normally found in the bush;
  • new ATV trails, or ATVs accessing previously unused trails; and
  • suspicious activity at rural water sources.

Rural_grow_op_power_theft  MVC-002S_3  MVC-003S_2

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

CFSEU-Edmonton is 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. Over 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.


Media inquiries may be directed to:
A/Sgt. Ray Savage
Green Team North
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)

S/Sgt. Tom Hanson
Green Team South
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)

Jill Baird
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)