October 1, 2012
Lethbridge…Police are confirming the withdrawal of one of five charges against a Lethbridge man after plants seized during a July investigation tested negative for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), indicating they are not marihuana.
On July 30, the Lethbridge Regional Police Service Community Policing Division conducted a curfew check on a residence in the 900 block of 13 Street North and came across an alleged outdoor marihuana grow operation. ALERT’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-Lethbridge), an integrated team of Lethbridge Regional Police Service and RCMP members, was called in to assist with the investigation. Police seized what they believed to be 1,624 marihuana plants, along with 697.86 grams of dried cannabis marihuana, 6.3 grams of cannabis resin, and a small amount of cash.
Police sent samples of the seized materials for testing. Results indicated that the seized plants were not marihuana but confirmed the other items seized were dried cannabis marihuana and cannabis resin.
“In any investigation, police count public safety as our top priority – our decision to seize the plants was made with the best information we had at the time,” said Staff Sergeant Wes Houston, officer in charge of CFSEU-Lethbridge. “While one charge is now withdrawn, the accused still faces four serious charges related to the dried marihuana and cannabis resin found in the home.”
As this matter is before the courts, no further comments will be made.
Ryan Thomas ROCKMAN, age 41, remains charged with production of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, and proceeds of crime. One count of production of a controlled substance has been withdrawn. His next court appearance is October 5.
Brent Allen OCZKO, age 43, remains charged with possession of a controlled substance.
ALERT was established by the Government of Alberta to tackle serious and organized crime. Over 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.
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Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
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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.