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Grow-Op Busts Hurt Innocent Homeowners


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Several homeowners in Richmond have been forced from their homes, and may face large electrical inspection and or repair bills, thanks to pot growers who rerouted power without their knowledge. Richmond RCMP executed search warrants on Jan. 24 at seven homes believed to be connected to a "cell" of pot growers.

"Investigators believe that this group is family-based or at least an extended family-based operation, working in cooperation with one another to hold Richmond properties for the purposes of growing and trafficking marijuana," an RCMP news release states.

Of the seven warrants executed, police found electrical tampering in four homes and two active grow operations.

Police seized 1,000 marijuana plants and 15 pounds of harvested pot.

A husband and wife living at unit 32-8051 Ash St. were arrested and police say charges of trafficking and producing marijuana are pending. Police also say it is likely there will be more arrests.

A property title search shows the owner of unit 32-8051 Ash Street to be ( name redacted ). Police have not released the names of the man and women who were arrested.

Power was cut to three of the homes that were part of the original seven searches. And because the power rerouting was done in townhouse complexes, it affected neighbouring townhouses that appear not to be connected to the marijuana cell. The power to five homes believed not to be involved in the marijuana cell have had their power cut off, forcing some of the homeowners to find somewhere else to live for now.

"It may be days or weeks before the power can be restored," an RCMP press release states.

The owners of a townhouse at 9880 Parsons Road appear to be innocent victims of illegal electrical tampering.

"There was evidence of electrical tampering at the residence ... however, there was no evidence to indicate that there was a grow operation or that the individuals residing there are connected to this group," the RCMP press release states.

That's little comfort to the man and wife who just bought the townhouse a month ago.

"We are really, really affected by this," the man who owns the townhouse in question told the News.

Not only is the couple's home uninhabitable for now, due to the power being cut off, the homeowner said he believes he will be on the hook for fixing the wiring problem and having the townhouse inspected.

"It will definitely cost us money to have it fixed," said the man, who did not want to be identified.

He said the house had been on the market for some time before he bought it a month ago. He said it's not clear whether the townhouse had once been used for a marijuana grow operation.

Source: Richmond News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Website: canada.com
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