BC "Green Team" conducts 21 raids on marijuana grows / production

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    Whether originally destined for the United States or to be smoked in Kelowna’s backyard, some 2,050 pounds of mary-jane wound its way into police lock-up in the last Kelowna Green Team exercise.

    It took seven officers five weeks to accomplish the task, which included arresting a medical marijuana provider who grossly exceeded her permit.

    “The permits are specific in the amount you are allowed to possess and grow,” said Sgt. Ann Morrison.

    Permitted for 15 plants and caught with 67 extra, the officers confirmed the woman will face charges, along with the others arrested, as they executed the 21 warrants involved in this latest sweep.

    Along with the marijuana, officers removed a small collection of hunting rifles and other drugs.

    Drug runners frequently sell their wares over the border and have been known to smuggle cocaine back into Canada when they make their marijuana drop, Insp. Cam Forbes stated, though he could not say specifically whether the marijuana involved was destined for such an operation and the entire operation only seized two grams of cocaine.

    Another 300 ecstasy tablets, 21 grams of crystal meth, 4.5 grams of mushrooms and 260 grams of oil were also seized along with the marijuana.

    Positioned on a table at the front of the room, the officers had laid out $29,000 in cash along with an unstated amount of the pot, the smell of which wafted into the hallway and down the corridor.

    Given the plants seized, cops estimated some $5 million of B.C. bud was removed from Central Okanagan streets.

    A total of 28 arrests were made, including 17 men and 11 women.

    Officers could not provide even a rough estimate of the amount of marijuana believed to be circulating in the area.

    By Jennifer Smith - Kelowna Capital News

    Published: November 27, 2009 4:00 PM


    video footage of the press conference uploaded to Video Archive

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