FEDS TO GET OUT OF DOPE-GEAR SALES
Auctioned Equipment Seized
Drug dealers will no longer be able to buy equipment used to grow
high-grade pot from federal government auctions, Public Works Minister
Scott Brison announced yesterday. Brison said the feds have now
"frozen" the sale of equipment, such as lights, fans and ventilators,
seized during drug raids which is later sold by the government.
The move comes after reports that drug dealers busted during an August
raid on a grow operation north of Toronto got their hands on hundreds
of pieces of equipment sold by Public Works in order to run an illegal
$1.1-million grow operation.
"When I became aware of the situation, I decided to put an immediate
freeze on any transactions of this nature," Brison told the Commons.
"There will be no reselling of this type of paraphernalia or equipment
that is used in hydroponic grow operations."
Brison has also asked his department staff to review how Public Works
auctions are organized, how people get access to the goods and the
security around the events. The equipment police seized during the
August raid north of Toronto was eventually traced to other drug raids
dating back to 1999.
York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge, who raised the case,
called it "disheartening" to drug officers to seize equipment at a
raid, only to find that it had been seized before and made its way
back into the hands of criminals.
Brison's spokesman, Susan Murray, said the minister called La Barge to
inform him of the freeze.