Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pot bust shocks Linden Woods

Plants worth $1.7M; two men charged

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SOME neighbours in Linden Woods expressed shock Friday when they learned city police had knocked down a major marijuana grow operation on their quiet street just a day before.

"I'll be darned," said Joe Urbanowich, on his way to the Canada Post mailbox depot on the corner. "Right on our street? We never noticed anything in the way of activity there," he said.

More than 1,500 plants with a total estimated street value of $1.7 million were seized from the home at 10 Ridgebury Place, as well as equipment worth about $40,000, a Winnipeg Police Service spokesman said Friday.

"It is big, even to the (WPS) Green Team," said Const. Jason Michalyshen, the police service public information officer.

"It is a significant grow operation. The house contained plants on the upper and lower levels, and it was a very sophisticated operation."

It was about 7:30 p.m. when Urbanowich and his wife noticed flashing red lights and looked out to see a lot of police officers at one house on the block. "We thought it might be a break in," he said.

Ridgebury Place is a short street in a maze of streets that include long-established neighbourhoods next to new subdivisions. Homes sell in the range of $400,000 to $500,000.

"You just don't see your neighbours that often," said Glenn Rogers, who was stringing Christmas lights across the front of his home Friday.

Water damage in one corner could be seen through the front window of the house.

From the exterior, it looked like any of the other homes on the street, with a grey Dodge Caravan parked in front of the two-door garage.

The one item that made it stand out was a notice from the Office of the Fire Commissioner stating, in big red letters, that entry was prohibited.

Two men, ages 27 and 25, were arrested inside the house during the Thursday raid and taken into custody. They face a number of charges, including production of a controlled substance and possession of a substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Both were released on a promise to appear in court.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2011 A15

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