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5,000 cannabis plants seized near Burk's Falls

The total value of seized cannabis is estimated to be over $5 million dollars

OPP have seized a large number of marijuana plants and charged three Toronto area men after a bust in Kearney Township, near Burk's Falls Monday.

On June 7,  at 5:15 p.m., Almaguin Highlands OPP Crime Unit officers executed a Cannabis Act search warrant at a commercial building on Park Road.

They seized just under 5,000 cannabis plants, over 200 pounds of processed cannabis, and marihuana processing equipment.

The total value of seized cannabis is estimated to be over $5 million dollars.

Three people are charged with unlawfully cultivating any type of cannabis plant at a place that is not their dwelling house, and possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing.

Charged are:

  • Zong Xiu Jiang, 35, of Markham
  • Bingkun Gao, 29, of Toronto
  • Zhwu Chen, 35, of Markham

All three were released from police custody and are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice on Thursday July 22 in Sundridge.

"This size and level of cannabis grow operation had not been seen before in our Almaguin Highlands Community," said  S/Sgt Dominic Lalonde, Detachment Commander. "The observations of our front line officers and the investigative expertise of our detectives have yielded a substantial seizure of illegally grown cannabis and various property obtained by criminal activity."

Almaguin Highlands Crime Unit, the OPP - led Provincial Joint Force Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET), OPP Northeast Region Community Street Crime Unit along with members of the Regional Support Team and the Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit were all involved in the operation..

The PJFCET is responsible for enforcing the cannabis laws and investigating criminal enterprises that exploit or abuse the legal cannabis market.  

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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