A piece of the high-tech equipment used in the Riondel grow-op.

Creston RCMP bust 5,100-plant Riondel grow-op

On May 6 Creston RCMP took down what Staff Sgt. Gord Stewart said was the most sophisticated marijuana grow-op he’s ever seen...

The Creston Valley and East Shore have never been known for boom and bust economies. But it was nothing but bust on May 6 when Creston RCMP took down what Staff Sgt. Gord Stewart said was the most sophisticated marijuana grow-op he’s ever seen.

RCMP officers and dogs executed a search warrant in the 600 block of Riondel Road in Kootenay Bay, where they found one house and one outbuilding completely converted to the purpose of growing marijuana.

“It was like walking into a factory,” Stewart said on Monday. “By any definition, this was a commercial marijuana factory.”

In what Stewart described as a “huge haul”, RCMP investigators seized 5,100 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, as well as a large amount of state-of-the-art equipment.

While the RCMP does not comment of values of drug seizures, other sources indicate that a single marijuana plant has an estimated $1,000 street value, making the ultimate worth of Friday’s bust worth more than $5 million.

“I’ve been involved in several hundred indoor grow investigations and I’ve never seen the level of sophistication present there,” Stewart said. “This search, together with the recent one in Falkland, certainly indicates the scale of this problem, even in rural B.C.”

The professional operation included eight self-contained hydroponic units, complete with grow lights and timers. The system was designed to produce compact plants containing buds that have the high THC content that the illicit drug trade demands.

Stewart said a 27-year-old male resident of the property was arrested at the scene. He now faces a number of charges, including production of a controlled substance.

 

Just Posted

Big turnout to advance polls

On Saturday, general voting will be open to qualified electors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Double loss sends Riders back to drawing board

Despite putting up a good fight against both Revelstoke and Creston, the… Continue reading

Gay minister challenges preconceptions

Andrea Brennan serves Fernie at pivotal time in church’s history

Documentary reveals Fernie’s role in WWI internment operations

That Never Happened to screen on 100th anniversary of Morrissey internment camp closure

Environmental monitoring meeting in Elkford tonight

Meeting to focus on environmental monitoring programs at Teck coal mines in the Elk Valley

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Fernie SAR rescues mountain biker

The man sustained a neck injury while riding Today’s Special, a new trail in Fernie

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Most Read