TORONTO, Ont. – Police have discovered a large grow-op, with a street value of approximately $1-million, on a farm property in York Region, Friday.
Police say it’s the 23rd outdoor grow operation in York Region that they have dismantled over the past three weeks.
680News airborne traffic reporter Darryl Dahmer alerted police about the grow-op in a farmer’s cornfield in Richmond Hill, after spotting it from his plane.
“In SkyMaster One, we quite often see interesting things from the aircraft,” he said. “I noticed a grow-up up in York Region, and this was east of Leslie, in the 19th Avenue area.”
“I notified the drug unit for York Regional Police, gave the coordinates, sent them a couple of photos of exactly what was going on.”
Dahmer says a total of 584 marijuana plants were found.
“It’s a large farmer’s field of corn, and in the middle of the farmer’s field, very clearly delineated, is a flock of about five plants wide, and about 100 long,” he explained.
“They had this very clear cut in the middle of the corn, and it was pretty obvious from the aircraft.”
York Regional Police Sergeant Clint Whitney told 680News officers have seized more than 3,000 marijuana plants as a result of the raids, with an estimated street value of $2.5-million.
“Some of the outdoor fields we found had smaller numbers,” he said. “There was one in Peel that had 15, but many of them had numbers in the hundreds.”
Others were found in Richmond Hill, King, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Markham.
Whitney said the latest raid is part of an outdoor marijuana grow operation eradication program, but this case wasn’t about personal use.
“Today wasn’t about those who feel that the government needs to review the laws on simple possessions. Today was about drug trafficking and drug production, and organized crime,” he said.
“At the end of the day, our ultimate goal right now is to just get them off the streets, off the market, and send a message that it won’t be tolerated.”
No arrests have yet been made in connection with any of the properties. Police say farm owners and renters – including this particular case – are not suspects, but rather the victims of grow-op operators, who grow their plants without the knowledge of the farm owners.
680′s eye in the sky helps York Regional Police
The discovery of the grow-op isn’t the first time Darryl Dahmer has helped York Regional Police.
On Monday, Dahmer spotted a man trying to hide from police after he was pulled over.
The man – originally pulled over for driving a dump truck without working headlights along Highway 400 – fled to a field on King Vaughan Road east of the highway.
Dahmer notified police immediately.