A true law enforcement team effort shut down a significant North Okanagan marijuana grow operation Wednesday.
Police officers from the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment, air services division and the Lower Mainland’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), which is trained to search in confined spaces, attended a residence in the 1800 block of Highway 6 near Cherryville Wednesday morning.
“The property was searched and the officers located one male suspect on the property,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk. “They found a two-level confined space concrete bunker with a multiple stage growing operation.”
Half of this operation, said Molendyk, was being powered by a generator, and the other half was being powered by a Hydro connection.
The concrete bunker was secured and the air quality of the area was checked by ERT members before this very sophisticated grow operation was able to be dismantled.
Officers seized 4,608 plants.
As part of the ongoing investigation, officers are looking into the origin of the generator.
The suspect, a 33-year-old Kelowna man, is expected to face charges of production and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
“The dismantling of this grow operation is part of the continuing commitment to our strategic priorities for the region in dealing with the production of marijuana,” said Molendyk.