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Industrial accident leads to investigation of criminal negligence and large seizure under the Cannabis Act

Police say serious injuries to a Maple Creek man led them to a huge grow-op near Kaslo, according to a press release issued today.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Mon. Aug 26, police were called to a report of a serious workplace accident on a property located at 196 Copper Creek Road. A 46-year-old man had suffered serious injuries after a boom crane he was in had collapsed. Police investigators from the Kootenay Boundary RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) and Worksafe BC attended the scene. Investigators determined that the accident was likely the result of criminal negligence, and sealed off the property.

A Criminal Code search warrant of the property was obtained by GIS investigators to gather evidence in relation to criminal negligence causing bodily harm. Police uncovered evidence that workers on scene were attempting to tamper with live BC Hydro wires.

As investigators were conducting their search warrant, an extremely large marihuana grow operation was discovered consisting of approximately 11,000 plants. A second search warrant was then obtained under the Cannabis Act. All plants were seized. Multiple legal licences to grow marihuana were associated to the address, but the legal allowance was significantly below the amount located and seized.

“This has been a very labour intensive investigation. Kootenay Boundary GIS investigators would like to recognize Worksafe BC and BC Hydro for their assistance. We are also grateful for additional assistance that was provided by officers from Trail, Sparwood, Castlegar and Nelson Police Department, who devoted their time over the long weekend to help,” said Acting Cpl. Chester Badach.

RCMP investigators continue to work with Health Canada officials, and charges are being considered under the Criminal Code and Cannabis Act.