Niagara Regional police announced today arrests and seizures at a large illicit cannabis operation in the City of St. Catharines with over 17,000 plants.
The investigation, which began in May, resulted in the arrest of eleven people, nine from Canada, one from the US, and one yet to be identified, along with an estimated $34 million in cannabis plants.
Police say the investigation started after complaints from the public. The bust is the largest cannabis grow operation investigated by the Niagara Regional Police Service. All ten arrested have been charged with Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act.
Although this is the largest bust of it’s kind in the area, it’s not an uncommon occurrence. Last year, police in Niagara police arrested one man for growing over 1,000 plants which police say was worth over $1 million.
In 2017 police in Niagara busted two large medical grow ops that police said were operating under fraudulent Health Canada medical licences for personal or designated use.
In 2016 there was a bust of a man with 500 plants. In 2015 Niagara police busted a man for over 1,000 plants that they also valued at just over a million dollars.