SURREY, B.C. -- Marijuana growers are starting to buy new homes instead of
renting properties to use as grow-operations, police said Tuesday.

In some cases, the growers pay cash for the homes, police said.

RCMP have raided 15 such houses in a three-block radius in one subdivision
in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey.

In one case, they found 600 pot plants just 10 days after the home was
bought. In another, the house had been owned for only four months when it
was raided.

"The houses are brand-new and have been purchased usually with the proceeds
of crime," said RCMP spokesman Const. Tim Shields.

He said that 18 months ago, police had only seen "a handful of them," but
in the last year, they raided 33 new homes and "we believe there are many,
many more." In some cases, the houses are custom built, he said.

"Some of these houses are specially built with the growing of marijuana in
mind," Shields said. "They have oversized air conditioning units put in and
special duct work to vent the smell out with special scrubbers."

In addition, the homes often have custom plumbing and electrical work,
Shields said.

Pubdate: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2002 Winnipeg Free Press