Police Take To Skies To Stop Outdoor Grow-Ops

August 26, 2008

POLICE TAKE TO SKIES TO STOP OUTDOOR GROW-OPS

A integrated police team combing Vancouver Island from the sky looking for marijuana grow-ops expects to seize more than 20,000 plants.

The team is expected to find a significant amount of outdoor pot as the growing season now comes to an end, says Const.  Darren Lagan of the Island District RCMP.

“Based on what we have seen in the air so far, we will get 20,000 plants altogether,” Lagan said Friday.

The goal of the annual fall police project is to locate and destroy marijuana grown outdoors, which is often on Crown land, notes Lagan.

While he noted police may be able to detect grow-ops from a helicopter, they can not always get into the isolated areas to tear them down.

“The number of sites we get to depends on weather and location,” said Lagan.

“Through our partnership with the Canadian military, we are able to utilize their expertise and equipment to gain access to these challenging locations,” added Lagan.

Last year, he said, the fall detection program on the Island netted RCMP about 20,000 plants.

And Lagan pointed out that many of those they busted last year set up in a new location: “They will change location from year to year, but were atuned to that.”

Outdoor pot production poses significant environmental risk, he said.

Streams are often diverted, growth-enhancing chemicals and pesticides are introduced into pristine lands and garbage is left behind at many of the sites, said Lagan.

Source: Province, The (CN BC)

Website: http://www.canada.com/theprovince/

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