Rural barn grow-up bust nets $4M in drugs

A call to the RCMP about a suspicious person ended up leading to one of the largest drug grow operation busts in Alberta history.

A call to the RCMP about a suspicious person ended up leading to one of the largest drug grow operation busts in Alberta history, estimated at nearly $4 million.

On Oct. 22, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) Green Team, an integrated unit consisting of RCMP and Calgary Police Services, and members from the Stettler RCMP detachment, raided a rural property off Highway 12, between Stettler and Erskine, a police statement said.

The night before, police had responded to a call about a suspicious person at the location and while attending the call, RCMP members became suspicious about the property.

A total of 3,284 marijuana plants — with an estimated street value of nearly $4 million dollars, were found growing inside a barn on the property. The barn was being powered by an industrial-sized generator.

“The barn housed a complex three-stage grow operation with 3,284 marijuana plants and approximately three kilograms of dried bud that had recently been harvested,” ALERT Green Team staff sgt. Keith Hurley said.

Police also seized two pick-up trucks with modified slip tanks in the back. The slip tanks had compartments built into them that police said are believed to be for the purpose of smuggling the products of the grow-op.

The grow-op was dismantled by police.

Mr. Kin Wa Au Yeung, 53 and Ms. Dan Wang, 35, are facing charges related to drug trafficking and production of an illegal drug. Neither of the individuals were licenced by Health Canada as a legal grow operation.

Previously, ALERT’s largest indoor grow-op seizure was in a Parkland County home in December 2012, when 2,233 plants were seized. The largest outdoor operation was in Drumheller in August 2010, at the time police seized 3,854 plants.

Stettler detachment’s Cpl. Cameron Russell assured people that there was no threat to public safety during the raid.

To report suspicious activity or a suspected marijuana grow operation, phone Stettler RCMP at 403-742-3382 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

For information on how to spot a grow operation, visit www.alert-ab.ca/growops.

Two hour blitz results in 62 violations

A traffic enforcement initiative by police on Thursday, Oct. 29, resulted in a total of 62 violations, Sgt. Phil Penny of Stettler RCMP Detachment said. Police were out on Highway 12, mostly in the area near FasGas, Penny said, for about two-and-a-half hours.

In that time, RCMP issued tickets for 12 tint violations, seven distracted driving violations, 20 seatbelt violations, 11 equipment violations, six speeding violations, and three failure to produce a licence violations. Police also executed one warrant.


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