Massive Marijuana Grow-ops Appearing in Rural BC

Big-city pot growing is moving to rural B.C., and the locals aren’t happy about four commercial-sized grow ops recently shut down by police.

Part of what has become a $6-billion industry, the four expansive facilities garnered thousands of pot plants worth many millions if they’d made it to market.

Prince George RCMP netted the week’s biggest haul, reeling in 18,000 plants worth about $2.2 million on the streets and arresting three alleged growers living in tents near the industrial-sized outpost.

Williams Lake RCMP made a big haul with 9,000 plants the detachment figures would fetch $5 million on the street.

“This grow op had the capacity and potential to yield upwards of $15 million a year and is likely the most sophisticated grow seen in recent times in the Williams Lake area,” said Staff Sgt. Warren Brown.

“We encourage our neighbours and communities at large to have a zero tolerance for this menace.

Quesnel RCMP took out 10,000 plants of their own, along with $175,000 in equipment at a sophisticated grow op accessible only by logging road.

An 18-month investigation culminated in the arrest of four suspects at a sophisticated production facility, with plants set up in two two-storey barns and a packaging and distribution centre located in a third building.

Kamloops and Chase RCMP executed a warrant in Anglemont, taking in 4,300 plants and 27 kilograms of dried marijuana ready for sale.

The suspects had gone to elaborate lengths to steal electric power — B.C. Hydro tracks power use and often leads police to grow ops.

In this case, investigators found two stolen B.C. Hydro transformers and a hydroelectric bypass used to steal power.

Six people were arrested.