Airdrie RCMP have shut down six marijuana grow operations in the past two months.
On Dec. 2, the Airdrie RCMP executed a search warrant at a house in Morningside. Police entered the residence and located a marijuana grow operation, with an estimated street value of $483,750. The three-stage operation was in the basement, and about 387 plants were seized.
“It is important for people to know that marijuana grow operations happen in all communities,” said Cst. Rob Frizell.
“Airdrie is no worse than any other area around a big centre like Calgary. Chestermere and Strathmore are dealing with similar situations.”
While officers were on scene, they discovered another grow operation at a neighbouring home. About 266 plants were seized from the residence with an estimated street value of $332,500.
Frizzell attributed the increase in grow operation busts to the creation of the Crime Reduction Unit, a group of highly trained officers whose main profile is to target organized crime.
“We have the time, resources and man power to target organized crime activity,” he said.
On Nov. 25, RCMP seized about 661 marijuana plants, worth about $826,250 from the same neighbourhood. Huu Phoing, a 55-year-old from Calgary and Kim Dieu Luu, a 53-year-old from Calgary were arrested in relation to that grow operation.
Frizzell said residents should be aware of what is going on in their community.
“Grow ops are a huge hazard in local neighbourhoods,” he said. “It increases the chance for violence or home invasions. Mould and humidity destroys the house and the fire hazard is huge.”
The Airdrie RCMP is sending the message to criminals that this will not be tolerated in this city.
“Airdrie is going to be a safe community without grow operations,” said Frizell. “It is not going to be tolerated. We are shutting down these crimes. If people are thinking about coming here to do this, you will be caught.”
Cochrane RCMP will be conducting Checkstops in and around the community throughout the holiday season.
On Nov. 26 and 28, about 300 vehicles were checked, resulting in two charges of impaired driving; one 56-year-old woman from Cochrane and a 70-year-old man the area were charged. One 24-hourr suspension was issued.
Cochrane RCMP would like to remind everyone not to drink and drive and to plan ahead. There are many options other than driving such as having a designated driver, taking a taxi, calling “Operation Red Nose” or walking is an option as well.
If you have information on any unsolved crime, contact the Airdrie RCMP at 403-945-7200 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.crimestoppers.ab.ca