11,000 marijuana plants seized in ‘extremely large grow op’ near West Kootenay village

An industrial accident investigation last month led to police seizing 11,000 marijuana plants from “an extremely large grow operation” in B.C.’s Southern Interior, RCMP say.

The bust occurred following a workplace accident near Kaslo, a village of approximately 1,000 people in the West Kootenay region.

According to the RCMP, a 46-year-old Meadow Creek man was seriously hurt following a workplace injury at 196 Copper Creek Road on Aug. 26 at around 7 p.m.

Police say the man was in a boom crane when it collapsed. Investigators wound up sealing off the property after determining the accident was the likely result of criminal negligence.

A search warrant was obtained, with police investigators gathering information, including uncovering evidence that workers on scene were attempting to tamper with live BC Hydro wires.

“As investigators were conducting their search warrant, an extremely large marijuana grow operation was discovered consisting of approximately 11,000 plants,” said an RCMP press release.

“A second search warrant was then obtained under the Cannabis Act. All plants were seized. Multiple legal licences to grow marijuana were associated to the address, but the legal allowance was significantly below the amount located and seized.”

Police say they are continuing their investigations and that charges are being considered under the Criminal Code and Cannabis Act.

The RCMP noted that police officers from other detachments – Trail, Sparwood, Castlegar and Neson – devoted time during the long weekend to help.

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