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Huge grow op busted in Hope

RCMP took down a huge marijuana grow operation near Hope on Wednesday, contained in 11 green houses and powered by six high capacity diesel generators.

Members from the RCMP Coordinated Marijuana Enforcement Team of the Federal Drug Enforcement Branch seized 6,496 marijuana plants, which works out to about half a ton of pot, police say.

Fourteen dogs were located on the property, and the SPCA has taken 13 of those dogs into its care, with one being returned to its owner.

The seizure of high capacity diesel generators directly related to large scale commercial marijuana grow operations is increasing, police say, with many of these diesel generators capable of powering a small sub division, or office building. The primary reason marijuana producers are using diesel generators is to minimize or supplement their electrical consumption from the normal power grid, which can be measured.

Police point to the potential environmental impact of using diesel generators, with the potential leakage/spillage of diesel and oil into lakes, streams and aquifers. The environmental impact on the Hope property has not been assessed at this time.

RCMP estimates the 6,496 plants seized equates to 1,218 pounds of marijuana. Because of the large scale of this grow operation, it is believed that the bulk on this marijuana was destined for export from B.C.

Four individuals have been arrested as a result of this investigation and a fifth individual is being sought by police. The names of these individuals are being withheld pending charge approval.

Charges are being recommended against all five individuals to the Department of Public Prosecutions Service Canada and the police investigation is continuing.

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