Eight Suspects Arrested In 2 Different Raids

More than 5,500 marijuana plants with a street value of about $4.7 million have been seized in two co-ordinated raids on eight properties in the northern Okanagan.

Const. Julie Rattee of the Kelowna RCMP said it's the biggest bust of B.C. bud she's seen in the area and that all the properties are believed to be linked to the same crime ring.

"We know that marijuana cultivation in this area is rampant and that this just puts a dent in this one criminal organization," she said, adding thousands of dollars were also seized.

The operation started May 8 when police confiscated 2,000 plants from multiple properties in Vernon. Three people were arrested, two of whom were released on bail, while the other remains in custody.

On Wednesday, another 3,500 plants were seized from four properties near Enderby, Armstrong and Falkland, and five people were arrested.

Rattee said all eight suspects are expected to face charges of production of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking. One is expected to face charges for possession of an unlicensed, loaded handgun.

Further arrests are expected.

Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Province
Contact: provletters@png.canwest.com
Website: The Province