Hamilton Man Charged in Grow-Op Sting

A Hamilton man with a licence for medical marijuana has been charged in a wide-ranging undercover police investigation that the RCMP says resulted in the shutdown of a marijuana grow-op network.

Derek Pedro and six others from across Ontario, including a London real estate agent, are charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in an 18-month operation involving five police forces. Police say the sting dismantled a criminal network able to supply fully functioning grow-ops, shut down two illegal indoor grow-ops and seized thousands of marijuana plants and growing equipment.

Pedro is charged with trafficking marijuana and conspiracy to produce marijuana. Police allege he sold 500 marijuana clones, indirectly, to police undercover officers involved in the probe. Clones are the rooted cuttings of adult marijuana plants.

The Hamilton man was in the news three years ago when he reported the theft of marijuana valued at $850 to $1,700 to local police.

Since 2003, he’s had a licence through Health Canada to use and grow marijuana for medicinal purposes, as relief for migraines and for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a condition which causes severe joint pain. Pedro also supplies space for others with licences to grow marijuana, and acts as a consultant to help people get licences.

Pedro said Friday he “walked into this by mistake,” and that the RCMP officer he dealt was “really amazing, a real gentleman.” He’s out on $2,500 bail for a court appearance in London in July.

– Read the entire article at The Hamilton Spectator.