Volume 95, Issue 67

Thursday, January 31, 2002

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Four students seek Huron crown

UWOFA support students

Fine, take all our weed, we'll just do shrooms

Gehring gets off, legally speaking

Cooldegrees denies any wrongdoing

Hey math nerds! Solve this ya geeks

Double cohort means double the confusion

News Briefs

Fine, take all our weed, we'll just do shrooms

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

The RCMP raided six London homes in a $1.6 million marijuana seizure as part of a co-ordinated nationwide-wide operation yesterday morning.

"Police executed 149 search warrants across Canada by 3:30 p.m.," said Det. Mike Klimm, spokesman for police in Ontario's York Region Wednesday afternoon.

"We've made 136 arrests and laid 289 charges. A total of 46,796 plants were seized in the raids," he said, adding about 500 officers from 20 agencies helped to seize $3.2 million worth of growing equipment.

Dubbed "Operation Green Sweep," search warrants were executed across Canada – from British Columbia to Nova Scotia – with more than 100 searches occurring in Ontario alone.

Locally, London police captured $120,000 worth of growing equipment, two homes and a car. Nine adults and two young offenders were arrested in relation to the raids and currently face a total 39 drug-related charges.

The two biggest busts, valuing $500,000, took place on Richmond Street, across from Masonville Mall and in the Oakridge neighbourhood, where 500 plants were found.

The Oakridge-area house, surrounded by an elementary school and a community centre, was opened up to local media. The strong odour of the seized plants seeped from the mid-sized bungalow as officers wearing blue tarp-like suits and gas masks removed seven oversized garbage bags filled with marijuana from the house.

No one lived in the house that had been rented out by a landlord, something police say is not uncommon.

"A lot of the time no one lives in these places," said RCMP Det. Insp. Buzz Bezaire.

Neighbourhood resident Ryan Woods, a grade 10 student from nearby Oakridge Secondary School, was surprised by the both the smell and sight of police hauling away the seized product.

"I don't expect this type of stuff," he said. "It's just a little neighbourhood with a lot of kids and old people."

"We're quite happy with the results," said Const. Ryan Holland of the London Police, taking into consideration other recent home seizures. "It shows people police are seizing these drugs in residential areas too."

Houses at 97 Langton Rd., 31 Springbank Dr., 126 Napoleon Dr. and 151 Bonaventure Dr. were the four other London residences searched.

Over 40 officers were involved in the London-area raids. Police met no resistance at any of the sites.

–with files from Canadian Press

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