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York police bust $1M Richmond Hill grow-op

Police discovered a large grow-op, with a street value of approximately $1 million, on a farm in York Region on Friday.

York Regional Police say it’s the 23rd outdoor grow-op they have dismantled in the past three weeks.

680News airborne traffic reporter Darryl Dahmer alerted police to the grow-op in a Richmond Hill cornfield after spotting it from his helicopter.

“In SkyMaster One, we quite often see interesting things from the aircraft,” he said. “I noticed a grow-op up in York Region, and this was east of Leslie in the 19th Avenue area.

“I notified the drug unit for York Regional Police, gave the coordinates and sent them a couple of photos of exactly what was going on.”

Dahmer says a total of 584 marijuana plants were found.

“It’s a large farmer’s field of corn, and in the middle of the farmer’s field, very clearly delineated, is a flock of about five plants wide, and about 100 long,” he said.

“They had this very clear cut in the middle of the corn, and it was pretty obvious from the aircraft.”

York Regional Police Sergeant Clint Whitney told 680News officers have seized more than 3,000 marijuana plants as a result of the raids.

“Some of the outdoor fields we found had smaller numbers,” he said. “There was one in Peel that had 15, but many of them had numbers in the hundreds.”

Others were found in Richmond Hill, King, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Markham.

Whitney said the latest raid is part of an outdoor marijuana grow-op eradication program which has so far turned up plants with a street value of $2.5 million.

“Today wasn’t about those who feel that the government needs to review the laws on simple possessions. Today was about drug trafficking and drug production, and organized crime,” he said.

“At the end of the day, our ultimate goal right now is to just get them off the streets, off the market and send a message that it won’t be tolerated.”

No arrests have yet been made in connection with any of the properties. Police say the farmers are the unknowing victims of the growers.