November 15, 2012 - 3:28 PM
Marijuana growers in Cherryville are taking concealment to new, subterranean levels.
On Wednesday, North Okanagan RCMP took down a major bunker-style grow operation in the 1800 block of Highway 6 in the Cherryville area.
Gord Molendyk, spokesperson for the RCMP, said it was likely the owners designed the structure specifically to grow marijuana.
The bunker was constructed of cinder blocks and concrete. Molendyk said these materials suggest the growers intended the operation to be there for a long time.
"Concrete doesn't deteriorate like wood does," said Molendyk.
The bunkers were located under the breezeway between the house and the greenhouse, as well as the greenhouse itself. Half of the operation was powered by a hydro connection while the other half used a generator.
Molendyk said in these situations, the generators—which are quite costly—are usually stolen.
This is the third facility of its kind to be located in the Cherryville area recently.
Just a few weeks ago, a new home owner moving into a residence on Thomas Road in Cherryville reported a steel shipping container buried beneath one of his sheds. The container had obviously been used to grow marijuana, but Molendyk says RCMP are unsure of how recently the operation had been active.
"Growers will use many methods to conceal their operations," said Molendyk, adding that these concrete bunkers and not uncommon across B.C.
Nov. 14, 4:32 p.m.
A large bunker style grow operation was taken down by North Okanagan RCMP this morning.
When police arrived they discovered a man on the property and a two level confined space concrete bunker with a multiple stage growing operation. Officers seized 4608 plants.
Half the operation was powered by a hydro connection while the rest was serviced using a generator. As part of their ongoing investigation, police will try to find out where the generator came from.
The residence located in the 1800 block of Hwy. 6 in the Cherryville area was taken down in a coordinated effort by officers from the North Okanagan Detachment, Air Services Division and the Emergency Response Team from the Lower Main Land who are trained to search confined spaces.
A 33-year-old male suspect from Kelowna is expected to face charges of Production, and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012