A plethora of charges was dished out after law enforcement seized roughly $150 million worth of illegal marijuana and exotic animals.
York Region investigators with the organized crime bureau — drug enforcement, gangs, and guns unit — saw officers initiate 15 search warrants at assorted weed grow operations which resulted in 67 charges and 37 arrests. Numerous exotic animals, including two zebras and three kangaroos, were too at a site in an unincorporated village. Animal control was alerted and is probing.
Per address, licensed cultivators can muster up to four cultivate licenses and turn a single production location into a marijuana farm. Cops are claiming that all pot is evolved and harvested at the identified sites was fated to be sold in the felonious market. Organized crime channels have engrained themselves in the racket, exploiting and capitalizing loopholes in the present legislation. Funds sourced from the unlawful weed trade frequently fund other segments of these crime groups, including the dispersion of illicit firearms and other drugs.
Police confiscated about 30,000 plants and almost 1,850 kilograms of harvested marijuana with an altogether street value of nearly $150 million. A conducted energy weapon, two crossbows, and seven firearms were seized also. In a statement police Chief Jim MacSween said: “The illegal production of illicit cannabis is a growing problem in York Region and our citizens regularly call to report these large-scale indoor and outdoor grow operations. Organized crime continues to exploit an outdated Health Canada medical licensing system, which is generating tremendous profit that we know is resulting in violence and funding other criminal activity in our community.”
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