York Regional Police have taken possession of $150 million dollars worth of illegal cannabis, multiple weapons, and exotic animals, as part of an investigation called Project Green Sweep.
The investigation which was part of York Regional Police’s Cannabis Enforcement Strategy took place this summer.
Thirty-seven arrests and 67 charges were laid following 15 search warrants at multiple interior and exterior cannabis grow operations in Markham, King, Stouffville and East Gwillimbury.
Around 29,000 plants and 4000 pounds of harvested cannabis were seized by police, who say its street value is about $150 million.
Multiple weapons were also seized, which included seven guns, two crossbows, and a conducted energy weapon. Police found multiple exotic animals at a location in Schomberg. The Animals included three kangaroos and two zebras.
In a press release, Chief Jim MacSween said “The illegal production of illicit cannabis is a growing problem in York Region and our citizens regularly call to report these large-scale indoor and outdoor grow operations. Organized crime continues to exploit an outdated Health Canada medical licensing system, which is generating tremendous profit that we know is resulting in violence and funding other criminal activity in our community.”
While the investigation is ongoing, investigators allege that the cannabis was going to be sold illegally through the black market.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Guns, Gangs and Drug Enforcement Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7817 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.