Bust prompts police to remind public to be on the lookout for rural grow ops

Bust prompts police to remind public to be on the lookout for rural grow ops

April 13, 2012

Edmonton…Two men face charges after police seized 559 marihuana plants following a drug trafficking investigation in Lac St. Anne County, a reminder that marihuana grow operations are not confined to urban areas. The plants are valued at over $500,000 if sold on the street.

On April 11, Edmonton’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-Edmonton), an integrated team made up of Edmonton Police Service and RCMP members, uncovered a sophisticated marihuana grow  at 28 Belle Vista Estates in Lac St. Anne County near Sandy Beach, just northwest of Edmonton.

While executing the search warrant, the team also found over 11 lbs. of marihuana shake, which are the remnants of processed marihuana. The presence of false walls, multiple air conditioning units, odour masking agents and an active water/nutrient system are all signs of this operation’s level of sophistication. The team also discovered an electrical bypass, which presents a significant fire hazard and is commonly used to acquire the large amount of power needed for a grow operation.

Prash KUMAR, age 23, is charged with production of marihuana, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and theft of electricity.

Keith RUNDLE, age 23, is charged with production of marihuana, possession for the purpose of trafficking, theft of electricity, and proceeds of crime.

“Marihuana grow operations pose a threat to community safety in both urban and rural areas across Alberta,” said CFSEU-Edmonton’s A/Sgt. Ray Savage. “We encourage the public to look for signs of a grow operation and report any suspicious activity to police.  This includes residents in rural areas, as criminals often set up these operations there to avoid police detection.”

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

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.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
A/Sgt. Ray Savage
CFSEU – Edmonton
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-720-2211

Jill Baird
Communications
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-509-3028

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.