RCMP seize marijuana and firearms in grow-op bust
Charges are pending against two people after RCMP and the Alert Green Team from Edmonton seized about 1,800 marijuana plants, with an estimated street value of $2 million, from a farm property northeast of St. Paul on Jan. 3.
Roy Krekoski, 67, and an as yet unnamed 62-year-old female, could face charges of production of marijuana and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, according to Acting Sgt. Ray Savage of the Alert Green Team. More charges may be forthcoming as a result of the RCMP’s discovery of unsafely stored firearms at the property, located seven kilometres north of the Town of St. Paul.
“This is considered a large-scale, illegal commercial project,” said Savage, noting the location was “ideal” since it was more remote and saw less traffic. “The operation was continuous in nature and there was evidence of previous harvests in this location.” He said it was suspected the grow-op had been operating for at least a year.
St. Paul RCMP began investigating during the fall of 2012. About 12 members of St. Paul RCMP, with assistance from the Green Team, executed a search warrant at the location on Jan. 3, working through the day to dismantle and seize the 1,816 plants in various stages of growth. RCMP also located about $20,000 worth of grow equipment, and 15 long-barrel firearms, including one carbine rifle, that were unsafely stored. RCMP also seized 1,000 rounds of ammunition from the location.
Savage said it was important to raise community awareness of the work RCMP had done, as well as the risks associated with such operations. Electrical hazards and mould were found in the location that was “essentially a converted hog barn . . . converted completely for the purpose of cultivating marijuana.”
More information about the charges and the accused will follow, according to an RCMP press release.