Smoke trail leads firefighters and RCMP to big marijuana grow-op

A fire has led Innisfail RCMP to the largest marijuana grow operation in its history.

A fire has led Innisfail RCMP to the largest marijuana grow operation in its history.

Innisfail RCMP followed a trail of smoke from a structure fire, leading them to the massive grow-op that may have been worth as much as $1 million.

Staff Sgt. Chris Matechuk said the fire uncovered the huge grow-op, the largest bust the detachment has ever had. The marijuana, marijuana oil and marijuana plants found could have been worth as much as $1 million.

“It’s quite common,” said Matechuk about discovering a grow-op because of a fire.

“That’s usually how they’re discovered because the electrical equipment can short out. That’s happened quite often.”

In the afternoon Sunday, Red Deer County firefighters responded to a structure fire on Range Road 272 east of Innisfail. When they got there they found the grow-op and called in Innisfail RCMP.

A search warrant was obtained and executed by Innisfail RCMP and the Alberta Law Enforcement Team — Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit — Green Team South.

On top of the marijuana and marijuana-related products, police found three firearms including an assault rifle, a loaded firearm and ammunition. Police seized all of the items and firearms.

Matechuk said the investigation is ongoing.

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