News: Cops seize nearly 150 pounds of pot

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Published in the July 17th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


Son makes emotional plea

LINDA HOANG
Edmonton Sun

A Spruce Grove man has been charged by city cops after nearly 150 pounds of marijuana worth more than $400,000 was seized Thursday.

Tactical officers stopped a pickup near 170 Street and 98 Avenue on Thursday around 3 p.m., seizing several boxes containing 38.5 pounds of marijuana from the back of the truck.

Police say the driver was in the middle of a drug delivery.

Officers then conducted a search at a west Edmonton warehouse and netted another 106 pounds of packaged pot.

“A total of 144.5 pounds of marijuana was seized yesterday,” Edmonton Police Service drug and gang unit Staff Sgt. Darren Derko told reporters Friday.

“This is significant. We don’t get this amount all the time.”

The pot is valued at approximately $430,000.

Police believe the marijuana comes from British Columbia.

The investigation leading up to the pot seizure lasted about a week, after cops received a tip about a drug dealer who was planning on moving marijuana into the city.

In total, 289 bags filled with half a pound of marijuana each were recovered. “It will have an impact on some mid-level dealers,” Derko said.

Police also seized a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 truck.

Patrick Johnson, 30, is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The major bust comes just days after Spruce Grove/Stony Plain RCMP recovered more than 1,100 marijuana plants and grow-op equipment at three different residences on July 13 — two in Spruce Grove and one in Stony Plain.

It is the first time RCMP in the area have taken down three grow-ops at the same time.

“This will definitely slow them (drug dealers) down a little bit for awhile,” said Spruce Grove/Stony Plain RCMP Const. Barbara Roy.

“It’s a nice size to get off the streets before anybody gets it.”

One man is in custody and facing charges for production of a controlled substance.

His name and address have not yet been released.

The value of the plants seized July 13 is $1.1 million while the grow-op equipment is worth approximately $75,000.

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