MALAKWA — About 3,000 marijuana plants were seized during a police raid on an elaborate underground grow operation, RCMP said Wednesday.
Okay. From The Revelstoke Current’s point of view (and please bear in mind that if it doesn’t happen here or involve Revelstoke people in some fashion we’re not terribly interested) this major bust by Mounties was not in Revelstoke. But it was in the next-best place: Malakwa.
According to a statement and video posted on the RCMP website, Southeast District General Investigation Section along with the Sicamous RCMP detachment executed a search warrant on Northway Road in Malakwa on July 6.
“Once on the property officers located a marijuana grow operation underneath a large shop,” the statement said. “The grow, which contained more than 3,000 plants, was accessed through a steel door in the floor which was raised with a hydraulic cylinder. This steel door was part of an elaborate electrical system that was utilized to camouflage the actual entry. Steel platforms sitting about 6 inches off the floor contained eight “add a phase” electrical motors. When a switch was activated one of the steel platforms and five of the motors lifted up, revelaing the entry. Add a phase motors are used to convert single phase electricity to three phase and are usually only found in industrial applications.”
The shop was more than 7,000 square feet, and the grow operation beneath occupied close to the same area. The plants were grown in soil planting beds on the floor. The grow op was well set up and contained fans, lights and air-conditioning units. There was an under ground venting system that allowed warm air and the odour to exit well away from the shop area, reducing detection.
Five persons were arrested on the site and one of the parties involved turned herself in at the Sicamous detachment. Three were released on a
Promise to Appear for court at the end of September in Salmon Arm. Two went in front of Judicial Justice of the Peace by way of telephone conference and were released for court Aug. 17. All are facing charges of Production of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking. One male was released on site as it was determined he was a contractor doing some bull dozing.
Eight children ranging in age from 1 to 15 were found and on the property. The Ministry of Children and Families assisted with their care until the parents were released.
Malakwa is located 25 km east of Sicamous.
Several units and detachments from the Southeast District were involved including Kelowna Air Section, Revelstoke Forensic Identification, Vernon Police Dog Service and Traffic Services.