12,000 plants and $100K in drug cash

A grow-op in Kelowna's Upper Mission is just the latest in a series of drug operations shut down by members of the RCMP's Drug Section.

Working on a tip from the public, police raided a home in the 500 block of Gowen Place Friday.

Cst. Kris Clark says police discovered a large, sophisticated marijuana grow operation in the basement of the newer home.

More than 1,200 plants were seized and a hydro bypass discovered.

A 33-year-old West Kelowna man apparently turned himself into police. He faces charges of Production of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking and Theft of Hydro.

Clark says the man has been released and is scheduled to appear in court in May.

Charges may also be brought forward against at least one other local man.

Since late January, police had shut down five marijuana grow-operations in the Central Okanagan including a business in West Kelowna (1,600 plants), two homes in Lake Country (1,800 plants) a warehouse next to a home on Belgo Road (3,600 plants) and a home in the Upper Mission (5,500 plants) .

Police also seized 23.5 litres of GHB, five gallons of unprocessed marijuana oil, over $12,000 in cash and several thousand dollars worth of growing equipment.

Street value of the drugs is well over $100,000.

Clark says there is no concerted effort by police to target grow-operations specifically.

"A lot of these investigations have been on-going for quite some time. Some of them were on-going for almost a year," says Clark.

"They have been able to come to a point where the investigation has basically produced enough information to obtain a search warrant."

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