73-year-old West Van woman arrested in alleged grow-op
Police allege a West Vancouver home housed a grow-op consisting of 1,100 marijuana plants after arresting four suspects Thursday including a 73-year-old woman. (CTV)
Published Friday, April 19, 2013 4:05PM PDT
A West Vancouver woman in her 70s has been arrested after officers discovered 1,100 pot plants in a British Properties home, police said Friday.
Tips of a strong marijuana odour led officers to an alleged grow-op at a home in the 700-block of Eyremount Drive, according to the West Vancouver Police Department.
After searching the home Thursday, officers found the pot plans along with suspected grow-op equipment and a loaded, unlicensed 9-mm pistol, police said.
Four people were arrested, including a 73-year-old woman and a 29-year-old Burnaby man.
Neighbourhood mailman Joey Hanlon delivers mail to the house police searched.
“I’ve smelled a skunky smell, like pot,” he said. “I’m not surprised.”
Hanlon said he thought the house was vacant until he met an elderly woman there one day.
“I thought she seemed quite nice and quite friendly,” he said.
West Vancouver police are concerned that loaded weapons were found during the bust, Const. Jeff Palmer said.
“We know from experience that the drug trade and drug production has a very strong and well-known association with weapons,” Palmer said.
No charges have been laid, but police are recommending charges against the woman and man including production of a controlled substance, theft of electricity, possession of stolen property and possession of a firearm without a license.
The suspects were released from custody and are schedule to appear in Provincial Court in May.
Two Coquitlam women aged 29 and 19 were also arrested after being observed leaving the residence, police said. Authorities are recommending charges of possession of a controlled substance, and the women will appear in court in July.
None of the suspects’ identities will be released unless charges are confirmed. The allegations against them have yet to be proven in court.
Palmer said since 2005, police have investigated 32 cases of cannabis production in West Vancouver, and 11 of those were in the British Properties.
“Clearly they’ll choose locations where they feel they can operate undetected,” he said.
Palmer urged any residents with knowledge of a suspected marijuana growing operation in their neighbourhood to notify police.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Peter Grainger