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Fifteen individuals from Ontario and other parts of Canada have been charged with a variety of charges after officers conducted an investigation for three years. The charges stem from an investigation of marijuana grow ops. In 2009, 17 Canadian and American citizens were charged in relation to similar activities that initiated the investigation. Those individuals faced a variety of charges, including the production of marijuana, distribution of marijuana, exporting ecstasy and exporting methamphetamine.
According to police, the investigation revealed that an organization of suspected criminals had been responsible for maintaining 27 Ontario marijuana grow operations and another two in British Columbia. Police also found that 18 of the grow ops were owned by the same family. The organization that had been going on for at least ten years was associated with $3.6 million in profits, which were utilized to purchase a variety of commercial businesses.
The 15 individuals who are being charged are from Niagara Falls, Toronto, Winnipeg, Alberta, Mississauga, British Columbia and Brampton. The age of the individuals charged range in age between 24 and 81 years old. They are being charged for possession of property obtained by crime, obtaining credit through fraud, forgery, committing an indictable offence for the benefit of a criminal organization and money laundering. Police seized a variety of assets worth approximately $2.7 million, including 14 properties, six automobiles and 32 bank accounts.
When police find an alleged operation that is responsible for drug trafficking, suspects may face a variety of additional criminal charges, such as charges for organized illegal drug activity, conspiracy charges or other allegations. There are long-term implications for a person who is convicted of serious drug crimes, but an Ontario criminal defence lawyer may be able to make a favorable plea bargain for the client.
Source: Niagara Falls Review, “Niagara Falls residents arrested in national drug investigation”, Alison Langley, May 15, 2013