SQ raids marijuana grow op in Townships
Published Friday, September 14, 2012 12:18PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 14, 2012 1:48PM EDT
Police in the Eastern Townships are tightening their grip on marijuana grow operations.
Officers from the Sûreté du Québec burned a crop of several hundred pot plants near the village of Stuckley Friday. It was the second consecutive day of raids in the region as police also destroyed 735 plants at seven different locations in Brome on Thursday.
"We're coming up on the harvest season for marijuana cultivators so it's been extremely busy," a spokesperson for the SQ said. "Our officers are out there every week, several times a week taking crops down and looking to make arrests."
Large outdoor pot fields are on the decline, police said. Drug dealers are either opting for several small outdoor crop sites or indoor, hydroponic grow ops.
No arrests were made in the raids, which were conducted by the province's anti marijuana task force "Operation Cisaille."
Friday's raid comes in the wake of a fatal shooting at a suspected marijuana grow operation in Mascouche. A 42-year-old man was gunned down in a cornfield early Thursday morning while apparently trying to steal a crop of pot plants.
A 55-year-old man awaits charges in the killing.
Through aerial survaillance, anonymous tip-offs and other investigative methods, the Operation Cisaille team seizes hundreds of thousands of pot plants each year. Economists estimate that the sale of marijuana in Canada accounts for upwards of $21 billion in illegal revenue each year.