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Pot busts pass $43M

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A $330,000 marijuana grow operation bust yesterday put cops over the $43
million mark for the year in seized pot.

The bust at 128 Citadel Dr. N.W. was the 106th grow operation warrant served
in Calgary in 2003.

"So far this year, we have seized 33,440 plants (in various stages of
growth)," said Calgary police Staff Sgt. Trevor Daroux of the drug unit.

"We consider anything over 500 plants to be a large grow operation."

The latest bust followed a tip from the public, something police are relying
more in their battle against drugs.

"The public is our greatest ally and the majority of our information comes
from them," Daroux said.

He said grow operations are increasing nationwide.

"Organized criminals have identified (the grow ops) to be a low-risk,
profitable enterprise," he said.

It costs $8,000 to set up a grow operation in a home, but one harvest can
reap $50,000 to $100,000.

"The profits from that are often channelled to fund other criminal ventures
such as the importing and manufacturing of cocaine, meth amphetamine and
crack," he said.

Pubdate: Thursday, November 27, 2003
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Contact: cal-letters@calgarysun.com
Website: Under Construction fyicalgary.com
Author: Mike D'Amour