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Feds Freeze Halliwell House Until Drug Case Is Concluded

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Terrace RCMP are preventing a house they allege contained a marijuana grow op from being disposed of until a criminal trial is over, a tactic they say they will use again.

And if the trial finds those charged with production of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking guilty, police say they'll seek to seize the house and sell it.

The initial freeze on the house on the 4700 Block of Halliwell by the BC Supreme Court means it can't be sold or have its title transferred to someone else.

Lawrence and Lynda Tallon face drug charges after police officers seized 150 marijuana plants and a "substantial amount" of harvested marijuana when they raided the house Sept. 12.

They are to appear in Terrace Provincial Court Dec. 18.

"Marijuana grow operations are a financially-motivated crime and the chance of losing property to the Crown may have a deterrent effect on these criminals," a police press release said last week.

The residence, in the 4700 block of Halliwell, will be managed by the Seized Property Management Directorate ( SPMD ), a little known agency of the federal Public Works Canada department, until all matters are dealt with in court.

Although not used much in smaller centres such as Terrace, Section 14 means that any property found to be used in an offence can be frozen.

The list could include vehicles found to be used to transport drugs, says local RCMP Staff Sergeant Eric Stubbs.

Restraint orders identify the roles and responsibilities of the SPMD and the registered owner of the restrained property, according to federal official Lucie Brosseau.

Although restraint orders can vary, generally the registered owner of a house is responsible to maintain insurance, heat and hydro, regular maintenance and mortgage payments, she said.

The order permits SPMD to enter the premises to inspect and appraise the value and condition of the home after properly notifying the owner.

If the accused is found guilty, the property may be forfeited as part of sentencing.

The SPMD would decide how and when to sell the property through public sales and auctions to ensure market value is received. The property is sold by public works realty services or a private realty brokerage.

Net proceeds are shared with provincial and foreign governments according to the level of involvement of law enforcement agencies.

The taxpayer does not pay for the management or disposal of seized and forfeited assets, Brosseau said.

All the costs are covered from the sale of the property, before sharing the net proceeds with governments.

Source: Terrace Standard (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Terrace Standard
Contact: newsroom@terracestandard.com
Website: Terrace Standard - Your Best source for Local Community News delivered in print or online
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