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  1. Alfa
    $3M IN POT SEIZED

    RCMP Raid Upscale Homes In St. Andrews

    It's a bumper crop for RCMP. Mounties harvested about 3,000 marijuana
    plants on the weekend while raiding four sophisticated grow operations
    in upscale homes in St. Andrews.

    With each plant worth about $1,000, the haul is estimated to have a
    street value of $3 million.

    "It's a significant seizure," said Selkirk RCMP Const. Dwayne
    Cebryk.

    "It would be one of the top ones in the Selkirk area, if not the
    biggest for this detachment."

    Due to the size and sophistication of the grow ops, investigators are
    probing possible links to organized crime, Cebryk told The Sun.

    It all began about 2 p.m. Friday, when police were called to a
    burglary in progress at a home at 5 Deer Rapids Dr., northeast of St.
    Andrews Airport.

    ELABORATE

    Soon after officers arrived, they discovered an elaborate grow
    operation in the basement of the home.

    A 34-year-old St. Andrews woman was arrested and faces charges of
    production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of
    trafficking.

    Her name has been withheld because she was released on a promise to
    appear in Selkirk court July 13 and won't be formally charged until
    then.

    The subsequent investigation led RCMP to three other St. Andrews
    residences -- 5418 Highway 9, 12 Praznik Pl., and 6 Michael Bay --
    where three more raids were conducted.

    The three residences were uninhabited and were set up to grow large
    amounts of dope, Cebryk said. No other arrests have been made.

    The grow op busts are the first this year for Selkirk RCMP.

    "We haven't had to deal with these types of things. This is the tip of
    the iceberg for us perhaps," said Cebryk.

    RCMP wouldn't discuss how the homes were linked, other than to say
    neighbours had reported "odd activity" at all four residences.

    "People noticed that these homes weren't being used as they are
    traditionally meant to be used," Cebryk said.

    "That allowed us to move fairly quickly after the link was made."

    Meanwhile, police in Winnipeg have been busting grow ops at a steady
    pace.

    At last count, Winnipeg police have busted more than 55 grow ops
    across the city this year.

    "That's starting to spill over into the rural area," Cebryk said.

    RCMP spokesman Sgt. Steve Colwell said there have been several grows
    busted across the province this year and he credits that in part to
    public awareness.

    "I think the public is more aware of what's going on," he said. "They
    know what to look for and they are alerting local detachments more
    so."

Comments

  1. Alfa
    AUDIT $3 MILLION IN DRUGS GONE

    Guns, Cash Also Missing From Evidence Room

    An investigation into evidence room abuses at the Memphis Police
    Department has revealed that nearly $3 million in drugs, $147,000 in
    cash and dozens of seized guns could not be located.

    The details were released yesterday as part of a state audit prepared
    to help federal authorities investigating the case.

    Police officials, who initially discovered the problem and asked for
    help from the FBI, said the investigation has sent a message through
    the department.

    ''What it has done, it has helped to impress on everybody our
    commitment to integrity,'' said police Deputy Director Ray Schwill.
    ''We wanted to do the right thing.''

    So far, 16 people, including two civilian employees but no
    commissioned police officers, have been charged in a scheme that links
    thefts from the evidence room to a cocaine ring. Five of those
    defendants have pleaded guilty.

    The audit by state Comptroller John Morgan found that 116.6 kilograms
    of cocaine, with a street value estimated at $2,332,408, and 559.9
    pounds of marijuana, with a street value estimated at $447,876,
    ''could not be accounted for.'' Morgan said that about $147,000 in
    cash and 66 guns also could not be found.

    The FBI said it's possible all of the items noted in the audit were
    stolen, but could not offer specifics on the ongoing
    investigation.

    ''I'm not suggesting that the FBI has accounted for each and every
    item missing yet,'' said George Bolds, Memphis FBI spokesman.

    Schwill said he assumes it has been stolen, not just lost in a bad
    accounting system. ''Obviously we had a problem, a pretty big
    problem,'' he said.

    Morgan said auditors warned the agency about problems in its evidence
    room in 1999, three years before they began investigating the thefts.
    Those problems weren't fixed, the auditors wrote.

    In a response to the auditors, Police Director James Bolden said
    changes - including better oversight and a surveillance camera - are


    being made to make sure similar situations can't happen again.
  2. searcher
    The chief of police in my city was arrested, convicted and fired from his jobbecause he used all the confiscated cocaine in the police department.
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