Rural drug bust turns up plenty of pot

Two people face drug trafficking charges after Rimbey RCMP busted a marijuana growing operation on Wednesday near Gull Lake.

Sgt. Mark Groves of the Rimbey RCMP detachment shows off marijuana and pot-growing lights seized in a recent raid.

Two people face drug trafficking charges after Rimbey RCMP busted a marijuana growing operation on Wednesday near Gull Lake.

Sgt. Mark Groves of Rimbey RCMP said Thursday that police executed a search warrant and raided the residence in the Poulson Estates subdivision on the northwest sector of the lake.

Kelly Pearson, 38, and Samantha Fiddler, 22, will both appear in Rimbey court on Dec. 4 charged with production of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking.

Groves said police seized 240 marijuana plants in the “sophisticated operation in the house.”

He said the plants were in various growth stages with some at maturity stage while others were still growing.

Groves didn’t give a dollar estimate of what the plants would fetch if sold on the street but said if every plant grew to maturity, it would have equated to between 20,000 to 30,000 marijuana cigarettes.

He said police also seized a considerable amount of hydroponic growing equipment, including lights and fans.

Groves said the electricity hadn’t been altered to power the plants, which is sometimes the case.

The bust occurred just a few kilometres from a major bust by Rimbey RCMP and the RCMP/Edmonton Police Service Green Team on Aug. 10 when police found 2,325 marijuana plants in various stages of growth inside a large pig barn.

Groves said police encourage the public to be on the lookout for neighbourhood marijuana grow operations.

“We want to try to rid the community of drugs and people can help,” he said.

He said it’s important that the public report any suspicious activities that might indicate a grow-op is running.

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