Drug Search Warrant Nets Grow Operation

submitted by St. Albert RCMP

After an extensive investigation, the St. Albert RCMP Drug Unit executed a drug search warrant at a rural property located northeast of Gibbons, Alberta. As a result of the search, over 400 Cannabis marihuana plants, over five pounds of Cannabis marihuana packaged for sale, plant cultivation equipment and an undisclosed amount of foreign currency was seized. The amount of marijuana being grown in this operation could have produced hundreds of thousands of illegal marijuana joints that would have had a serious impact on the Edmonton region.

Seventeen RCMP officers were involved in the search, including officers from the St. Albert Traffic Unit, St. Albert General Investigation Section, St. Albert Crime Reduction Unit, Morinville General Investigation Section, Morinville General Duty officers, Fort Saskatchewan General Investigation Section, and officers from ALERT. Edmonton Police Service Air Services provided officer safety over watch during the search.

One male adult and one female adult were arrested at the location where two preschool-aged children were present.

“The quantity of drugs seized at this property is very concerning.” Says Inspector Ken Foster of the St. Albert RCMP. “This was a marihuana grow operation that was for criminal trafficking purposes, not for personal use and if these drugs were not seized, they would have impacted the well-being of our residents and our children in Morinville, Sturgeon County, St. Albert and throughout the Edmonton region.”

Cpl. Layne Wakefield, who is in charge of the St. Albert RCMP Drug Unit, explained that, “Uncontrolled grows do not meet the health and safety standards that a medically licensed operation would have in place and can even introduce additives to marihuana plants that can impact people’s health. This marihuana growing operation was not controlled and was not approved for medical use.”

A 36 year old man and 28 year old woman, residents of Sturgeon County, Alberta, have both been charged with:

1. Production of Substance contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

2. Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

3. Child endangerment under the Drug Endangered Child Act

And they are both scheduled to appear in St. Albert Court on August 22, 2016. A referral to Children and Family Services has been made to ensure the safety of the children. The names of the accused are not being released in order to protect the privacy of the children.

If you have information about this incident, please call the St. Albert RCMP at 780-458-7700 or call your local police. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions).

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