News

Creston RCMP bust 5,100-plant Riondel grow-op

A piece of the high-tech equipment used in the Riondel grow-op. - Shelley Livingstone photo
A piece of the high-tech equipment used in the Riondel grow-op.
— image credit: Shelley Livingstone photo

The Creston Valley and East Shore have never been known for boom and bust economies. But it was nothing but bust on May 6 when Creston RCMP took down what Staff Sgt. Gord Stewart said was the most sophisticated marijuana grow-op he’s ever seen.

RCMP officers and dogs executed a search warrant in the 600 block of Riondel Road in Kootenay Bay, where they found one house and one outbuilding completely converted to the purpose of growing marijuana.

“It was like walking into a factory,” Stewart said on Monday. “By any definition, this was a commercial marijuana factory.”

In what Stewart described as a “huge haul”, RCMP investigators seized 5,100 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, as well as a large amount of state-of-the-art equipment.

While the RCMP does not comment of values of drug seizures, other sources indicate that a single marijuana plant has an estimated $1,000 street value, making the ultimate worth of Friday’s bust worth more than $5 million.

“I’ve been involved in several hundred indoor grow investigations and I’ve never seen the level of sophistication present there,” Stewart said. “This search, together with the recent one in Falkland, certainly indicates the scale of this problem, even in rural B.C.”

The professional operation included eight self-contained hydroponic units, complete with grow lights and timers. The system was designed to produce compact plants containing buds that have the high THC content that the illicit drug trade demands.

Stewart said a 27-year-old male resident of the property was arrested at the scene. He now faces a number of charges, including production of a controlled substance.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Rotary connector trail extension enhances Rails to Trails project
 
First snow fall of the year
 
Fernie mom strings together Beads of Courage
Penticton neighbourhood up in signs
 
Public meets trustee candidates
 
Close-up: Addressing root causes of crime
Sparwood all-candidates forum well-attended
 
Isabella Dicken kids in Fernie get to grips with science
 
Shipping company names new ship after the city

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 3 edition online now. Browse the archives.