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Grow -Op Above Daycare


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3,000 Pot Plants, Leaky Water Pipe Gave Away Renters On Second Floor

About 18 months ago some mysterious people took over the commercial space atop the Yeshiva Gedola daycare in Outremont, without introducing themselves to their neighbours.

Whoever was renting the second-floor space on Pratt Ave. kept their business under wraps until a leaky water pipe finally gave them away over the weekend.

Firefighters called in Saturday morning to inspect damage to the daycare ventured to the floor above, uncovering a marijuana grow operation with more than 1,500 mature plants - and an equal number of younger plants.

"One hundred per cent. That's how much of a surprise it was to me. I only found out yesterday morning," said David Schecter, the director of the non-profit daycare, one in a group operated by the Yeshiva Gedola Foundation.

Parents bringing their children to the 65-spot daycare on the second-to-last day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah were also surprised to find out what had been going on.

The burst pipe caused only minimal damage to the daycare.

"Parents are concerned about what was going on upstairs. I can understand," Schecter said. "But there was nothing we could do because we didn't know about it ourselves. We never saw these people. We never saw them. I'm there all the time, so I don't know when they came in."

Schecter and an employee at the daycare said they never sniffed even a hint of the pungent illicit plants being grown right over their heads.

The commercial space was rented by an incorporated company that dealt with the building's owner through documents and paid its rent by cheque, said a representative from the company that manages the building.

Montreal police Constable Anie Lemieux said no arrests have been made.

Officers also seized hydroponic equipment. Police could not confirm how much the marijuana was worth.

Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2007 The Gazette a divison of Southam Inc
Contact: letters@thegazette.canwest.com
Wedsite: canada.com
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