Essex County OPP and the Ontario Provincial Joint Force Cannabis Enforcement Team seized more than 75,000 cannabis plants and 2,400 kilograms of processed cannabis this week at a farm in Leamington.
Ten people were arrested, facing charges for possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling and cultivating cannabis plants at a place that is not a dwelling, in violation of the Cannabis Act.
The arrest subjects were identified as follows: Decai Kong, 47; Shibin Li, 46; Zhi Fang Lin, 47, of North York; Rong Lu, 57; Jian Po Mi, 52; Zhiliang Shi, 48, of Scaroborough; Ming Guang Wang, 35, of Markham; Xiu Xi You, 57, of Markham; Zhi Cai Zhang, 51; and Wei Zhu Zheng, 40, of Markham.
Insp. Glenn Miller, detachment commander of Essex County OPP, said the latest raid shows the resolution of “criminal enterprise groups” to make money from illegal activity.
“The proliferation of illegal marijuana grow operations, as evidenced by this recent significant seizure in Leamington, demonstrates the resolve by criminal enterprise groups to profit from illegal activity,” said Miller in a statement. “To those individuals or groups who continue to profit from these illegal grow operations, the OPP will relentlessly pursue your interests, seize your property and introduce you into the criminal justice system.”
The raid took place on the same road, Mersea Road, as another large raid in September, where police seized 500 cannabis plants, as well as dried cannabis.“As farmers retire the ACMPR approval in August 2016 has brought in a wave of property buyers from the GTA that the community and law enforcement suspect may be connected to organized crime,” wrote a guest columnist in Post Media’s Ontario Farmer last January. “Leamington, Brant County and the Niagara Peninsula, as areas with greenhouse infrastructure, are dealing with the same issues.”