York Regional Police seize $1M worth of illegal marijuana plants
Published Friday, September 13, 2013 11:35AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 13, 2013 12:35PM EDT
York Regional Police seized an estimated $1 million worth of marijuana plants from an outdoor grow-operation in Richmond Hill on Friday morning.
Police harvested the illegal crop, which took up a large swath of a farmer's cornfield, and loaded it into trucks to be destroyed.
"Our officers with the drugs and vice unit have executed the search warrant and found at least 600 plants in this outdoor marijuana grow-operation," Const. Andy Pattenden told CP24.
York Regional Police invited media to attend the bust, with Pattenden saying it was a "significant seizure."
The marijuana was spotted by York Regional Police air support unit who relayed the information to investigators on the ground.
Police say criminals plant the pot in corn fields and return just before the corn is ready to harvest, often without the farmer's knowledge.
York Regional Police Sgt. Clint Whitney said Friday's bust was one of many in the region.
"In the last few weeks we have found 23 marijuana grow operations in all five districts of the York Regional Police … we are finding them all over the place," Whitney told CTV Toronto.
Whitney says police have seized more than 3,000 plants over the last few weeks, worth at least $1.8- to $2 million.
Police say this is not about cracking down on the average pot smoker, but is an attempt to disrupt the bigger crime organizations selling marijuana.
Police say crime organizations sell marijuana south of the border, sometimes in exchange for cocaine, heroin and even guns.
Samples of the pot plants will be sent to Health Canada for testing.
No arrests have been made in connection with Friday's bust.
With report from CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry