So let’s be sure we get this right. A lengthy and no doubt expensive and time consuming police operation is being called a success because a few people were arrested and just over 10,000 marijuana plants were seized. Plants that, by the way, appear to be valued by police at $1000 per plant.
The third phase in a major regional drug sweep has resulted in charges against eight people and the seizure of $11.7 million in marijuana.
Ontario Provincial and Belleville police released details Wednesday on the latest results of Project Industrious, an ongoing investigation in which police said public tips have been crucial.
They said city, provincial, Toronto and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were involved in seven drug searches Tuesday morning in the Bancroft, Sharbot Lake and Toronto areas.
“This project has been extremely successful,” said Belleville Police Chief Cory McMullan during Wednesday’s press conference at the Gerry Masterson Community Centre on Harmony Road.
“More than 11,700 marijuana plants were seized yesterday,” said Det.-Insp. Bryan Martin of the OPP’s drug enforcement section.
He said that brings the “conservative” grand total of drugs seized under Project Industrious to $22 million.
Four of Tuesday’s searches were in the Bancroft area: one on McDonald Mine Road in Monteagle Ward of Hastings Highlands Township and northeast of the hamlet of Bird’s Creek; one on Madawaska Road, north of Maynooth; and one each on New Carlow Road and Highway 28, both in Carlow-Mayo.
Marijuana plants and gear were seized at all but the Highway 28 property. Further evidence was seized from the highway lot plus one property in Sharbot Lake and two in Scarborough.
“The investigation commenced with tips from the citizens of Belleville,” McMullan said.
Information gathered during the project’s first two phases led to Tuesday’s raids, police said.
“Without the community coming forward with that information, we wouldn’t be where we’re at today,” said McMullan.
Get real. Just the cases I’m working on now involve, in total, that many plants. And I’m one lawyer in one area working for a few people. So, once again, the police spending countless (because they don’t count) dollars and incredible time results in something that can’t even be considered scratching the surface of the industry. It’s like saying you had a successful campaign against obesity because one McDonalds started selling salads. Ludicrous.