Hundreds of thousands of cannabis plants seized by Ontario police since August

Hundreds of thousands of cannabis plants seized by Ontario police since August

Ontario Provincial Police say they have seized more than 200,000 cannabis plants in the last several months, involving dozens of raids of large illegal cannabis farms.

The raids, in conjunction with numerous other law enforcement agencies, including organized crime, border patrol, and other provinces, and some US authorities, were primarily from farms based in Ontario, although one large operation also included farms in British Columbia that were exporting to Ontario. 

All information on raids is taken from OPP press releases and media reports. Some investigations are ongoing and police do not always release information on all police actions. Ontario Police say they are valuing fully mature cannabis plants at about $1,000 each.

In addition to the approximately 220,000 cannabis plants seized since August of this year, authorities say they also seized more than one thousand kilograms of dried cannabis and millions in Canadian currency, along with hundreds of thousands in US, Chinese and South Korean currency. More than 100 have been arrested. 

The largest raid, announced mid August and dubbed Project Woolwich involved eight arrests, 213 charges laid, $2.5M in Canadian currency, more than 100,000 illegal cannabis plants, and nearly 900 kilograms of illegal cannabis seized. 

The operation was in coordination with the Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team and a host of other law enforcement agencies, including Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, FINTRAC, CRA and others. Police say that the individuals are not members of known organized crime groups, but are part of a “criminal enterprise” because they have coordinated a “large-scale, sophisticated and high-profit operation.” 

In addition to that large bust, OPP have dismantled numerous farms in Ontario, from hundreds of plants to thousands. 

On August 6 police executed two search warrants in , seizing a total of 3,444 cannabis plants, 18.6 of processed cannabis, and 14 kilograms of cannabis resin. Police arrested and charged 51-year-old Ronald Forget and 54-year-old Faith Forget, both of Cramahe Township, and 55-year old Ken Hung Yap of Scarborough.

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On August 12, Lennox and Addington County OPP seized over 5,000 cannabis plants at two locations, along with over over $15,000 in Canadian currency. Police arrested Zong Feng Bai, Chao Hao, Tian Jun, Ren Jun Lin, Kim Thai Phan, Wei Cong Cen, all from Ontario, and Thi Hang Nguyen, from Vietnam.

On August 15, OPP seized over 7,100 cannabis plants, in addition to $10,000 in Canadian currency, and charged Wuzhu Chen, Xiao Chen, Shao Va Chung, Liv Yuquin Lim, Shao Ue Lim, Hua Hui Lin, Jin Lin, Song Bo Lin, Kim Chun Liu, Peiquan Zheng, Jun Yao Zhu,  Brian Gerald Wilson, and Heather Wilson, all of Ontario. 

On August 18 Liru Yang, Xiaoping Yang, Hongwei Yuan, and Teng Zhao were arrested after investigators seized 1,445 cannabis plants, a water pump, $4,590 in cash and a 2020 GMC Sierra pickup truck.

On August 19 OPP seized 1,874 cannabis plants, $920 in cash, a John Deere farm tractor and video surveillance equipment. Nineteen people face charges; Jin Feng Chan, Shu Zhu Chan, Yu Hua Chan, Yong Chun Du, Alfred Jing Gao, Jun Ping Hang, Jun Li, Pin Zhu Li, Xi Mei Li, Li Xin Lin, Li Ling, Li Yun Liu, Zhu Xin Liu, Xiao Yang, Xiufeng Yang, and Yuxia Zheng.

In addition OPP say that prior to the execution of their warrant, a rental truck leaving the property was stopped by officers. OPP seized 276 kilograms of finished, processed cannabis. The driver — Ququan Chen of Ontario was arrested and also charged.

On August 22, six people from Ontario and Quebec were charged after OPP discovered nearly 4,000 cannabis plants on two neighbouring properties in Napanee, along with more than 500 grams of hashish, about $5,000 cash, a 22-calibre revolver, a crossbow, a variety of equipment used to harvest cannabis and a 2020 pickup and tractor.

The OPP charged Xing Chun Chen, Jing Fei Cao, Yun Ying Cao, Yingzhao Cui, and Jing Geng Jiang of Ontaro and Xioa Lie Geng, 41, of Quebec with cultivating more than four cannabis plants and possession of proceeds of crime. Chen, Geng and Jiang have also been charged with possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon.

On August 27, OPP seized 15,300 cannabis plants following a raid on a property in the City of Kawartha Lakes, along with dried flower, vehicles and equipment. 

On September 1, OPP seized 870 cannabis plants and arrested two at a rural property in the Municipality of Trent Hills. Guangquan Liang and Wanling Liang, both of Ontario, face charges of cultivation, propagation and harvesting more than four plants at one time in a dwelling house.

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Also on September 1, OPP seized about 1,000 cannabis plants in Chelmsford, along with a “sophisticated cannabis resin extraction lab”. The total estimated value of the seizure is about $2 million in cannabis and $143,625 in lab equipment, along with about 104.5 pounds of dried cannabis, about 50 kilograms of “hash oil” and 10 kilograms of “suspected cannabis butter”.

Also on September 1, Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) East Region Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU) seized nearly 3,000 cannabis plants, nearly $5,000 Canadian currency and a variety of equipment in Tyendinaga Township. Biyun Chen, Chong yuan Chen, Zhenjia Chen, Feng Yang Li, Jun Guang Lin, Gangfeng Liu, Xiumei Wu, and  Bi Jin Zhu were all charged with Cultivating, propagating or harvesting more than four cannabis plants and the possession of proceeds obtained by crime.

On September 2, OPP East Region Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU) in Tyendinaga Township seized another nearly 2,000 cannabis plants and a variety of equipment used for production of cannabis. Naibing Yu and Yimingzai Yu of Ontario were arrested and charged with Cultivating, propagating or harvesting more than four cannabis plants and the possession of proceeds obtained by crime.

On September 8, members of OPP East Region Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU), along with members of the Lennox and Addington OPP Detachment, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) and OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) seized nearly 6,000 cannabis plants, 272 kilograms of “cannabis shake”, nearly $3,500 in Canadian currency, a van and a variety of equipment used for production of cannabis.  Police charged Jun Cheng, Xiaopeng Yuan, and Yun Feng Zhang.

On September 9, following a 16-month joint investigation with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Ontario and Quebec with the assistance of the OPP – Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team, executed six (6) search warrants within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Quebec. 

This resulted in the seizure of a quantity of suspected restricted and prohibited handguns, over 800 plants and dried cannabis from an illegal grow operation, and approximately 400 grams of suspected cocaine.

The group used a helicopter to fly the cannabis across the Canada-U.S. border between the ports of entry at low altitudes to avoid detection. RCMP arrested Parmjot Saini, Derek Chi-Yeung Ng, Ramindejit Assi and Kamal Deep Bassan, all of Ontario. 

Nineteen people face charges after OPP seize cannabis plants in Hastings in the Municipality of Trent Hills.

On September 11. the OPP East Region Community Street Crime Unit seized about 8,000 thousand cannabis plants in Brudenell-Lyndoch-Raglan Township.

In addition to the cannabis plants, officers also seized a large quantity of processed cannabis, growing and processing equipment, two rifles and over $10,000 in Canadian currency.

Eleven people were arrested at or near the location: Chengdi LI, Shaobin OU, Xianbao OU, Shi Kai OU, Wang Rong ZOU, Guiying CHEN, Rui Bin LIN, Shuxia WANG, Chunyi LI, Tiandong LIU, and Jing OU, all of Ontario.

On September 14, OPP East Region CSCU arrested 17 people and seized nearly 4,600 cannabis plants in North Marysburgh in Prince Edward County, along with a shot gun, approximately $10,000 in Canadian currency and a variety of equipment, and “a large quantity” of processed cannabis.

On September 14, some 7,000 marijuana plants were seized for destruction after the Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to a barn fire that turned out to be an unlicensed cannabis grow operation. 

On September 15, the OPP Street Crime unit charged 11 people and seized 8,000 cannabis plants at a location near Palmer Rapids, along with a large amount of processed cannabis, 2 rifles and over $10,000 in cash.

On September 16, OPP say they seized 235 cannabis plants in Caledon, Ont.

Also on September 16, the OPP seized more than 2,300 cannabis plants from a location South in Lindsay. Four people at the property were arrested and charged with production – cultivation of cannabis without proper authorization. Their names were not disclosed at the time of publication.

On September 17, two people taken into custody and hundreds of cannabis plants were seized in the County of Brant. 

On September 18, over 4,000 cannabis plants, over 600 kilograms of cannabis products and more than a dozen firearms were seized at 2 locations, with 26 people facing charges. 

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On September 22, police seized 500 cannabis plants and a quantity of processed cannabis. Daniel Tiessen, Deon Campbel, Yuli Cardenas-Bartolon, and Olga Larios-Mendoza, all of Ontario, were charged with cultivating, propagating, or harvesting any cannabis plant at a place that is not their dwelling house.

Also on September 22, the OPP Street Crime Unit seized over 1,700 cannabis plants and over 200 kilograms of processed cannabis from a location in South Dundas Township. Thirteen people, including a Brooklyn, NY resident were been charged; Jin Yun Chen, Wenfang Chen, Zhenjia Chen, Yihua Chi, Jinbao Gao, Fei Lin, Yanying Lin, Yuran Yang, Zhujin Zheng, Bijin Zhu, Jinchai Zhu of Ontario, Youshun Lin of Saskatchewan, and Zhifang Chen of Brooklyn, New York.

Also on September 22, OPP seized nearly 2,300 marijuana plants in Prince Edward County. Also seized was a rifle along with two tractors, a number of generators, power tools, items used in the production of marijuana, and nearly $500 in cash. Xiaofei Chu and Heng Zhao of Ontario and Chaofeng Yu and Zhenmin Zhang of no fixed address were charged.

Also on September 22, Peterborough County OPP seized nearly 3,787 cannabis plants, $4,845 in Canadian currency, along with vehicles and equipment, including a trimming machine. Weiliang Guan and Quan Wu, both of Ontario, were arrested and each charged with cultivating, propagating or harvesting more than four plants at one time in a dwelling, and possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing.

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On September 24, the OPP CSCU seized nearly 100 cannabis plants, processed cannabis and cannabis shake from a home west of Winchester, in North Dundas. Robert Hunter of Ontario faces firearms and cannabis act charges.  

Also on September 24, Norfolk County OPP say they interrupted a large illegal cannabis operation, seizing cannabis plants with an approximate value of $2.1 million and arresting 27 people. Although a plant count was not released, OPP have been valuing cannabis plants at about $1,000, placing the raid at around 2,100 plants

No information on those arrested has been made public. 

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On September 24, Prince Edward County OPP officers and members of the East Region Community Street Crime Unit seized more than 1,600 cannabis plants. Wen Zhui Chen and Shenghui Li, both of Ontario were arrested and face charges of cultivating, propagate, or harvesting more than four cannabis plants.

On September 25, the OPP Street Crime Unit seized more than 11,000 cannabis plants from 3 illegal growing operations in an area southwest of Smiths Falls. Jinrong Chen, Jie Lin, and Na Zhu face charges. 

On September 28, the Southern Georgian Bay OPP along with members of the OPP’s organized crime enforcement unit seized over 10,000 cannabis plants in Midland. The location was a former Styrofoam factory but has been out of use for roughly a year according to local media reports.

On September 30, OPP seized more than 2,100 cannabis plants from an outdoor grow-op, along with more than two kilograms of harvested cannabis, a 22-calibre rifle, generators and a variety of growing equipment. They also found a large indoor growing operation that was no longer being used.  Yoon Fatt Loo, 60 of Ontario was arrested at the scene and faces the following charges of propagating or harvesting more than four cannabis plants and careless storage of a firearm.

On October 2, members of the OPP East Region CSCU seized over 600 cannabis plants in South Frontenac Township, along with over 90-kilograms of processed cannabis, approximately $500 in cash, as well as growing and processing equipment. Bi Long Chen, Ming Chen, Jian Feng Lin, Xing Lin Qiang Wang, and Zong Hang Zou of Ontario face charges.

Also on October 2, the OPP SSCU seized hundreds of cannabis plants and processed cannabis from a location northeast of Kingston. Several people due in court in November as a result.

Also on October. 2, nearly 600 cannabis plants and an additional 700 plants which had been harvested and processed, nearly $3,000 Canadian currency, as well as a variety of equipment used for production of cannabis were seized by members of the OPP East Region CSCU in Stone Mills Township. Mengyan Lin, Pu Tian Yang, Song Zi Lin, and Minghe Song all of Ontario were arrested and face charges.

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Editor’s note: This article originally stated the value of 200,000 plants times $1000 was $2 billion, not $200 million. Which is obviously wrong. Derp.

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