Thursday, September 9, 2010, Halifax, NS…An integrated team of police officers from the RCMP and various municipal agencies are continuing to eradicate outdoor marihuana grow operations, however the police need public support in locating marihuana grow operations in their community.
While the police are doing their part to eradicate outdoor marihuana grow operations, Sgt. Keith MacKinnon of the RCMP Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service (DOCAS) says the RCMP needs the public support in order to make communities safer. "The staggering vastness of Nova Scotia will make it impossible to cover every piece of land. Community safety is everyone's responsibility and we request if you are in the woods for any reason including hunting, hiking or running to be aware of the signs of a marihuana grow operation."
Marihuana plants are bright green and the leaves have seven jagged fingers. The plants grow between three and five feet tall and give off an odor similar to that of a skunk. Grow operators will use a number of props to deflect suspicion including hiding marihuana plants between natural growing vegetation.
Below are common signs of a marihuana grow operation:
• Abandoned vehicles parked on side roads or trails.
• Repeated attendance to remote locations.
• People observed walking in remote areas for no apparent reason.
• People trespassing onto fields on foot or by off road vehicle.
• Bags of fertilizer, planting trays, or chemicals located in remote areas or dumped at the side of the road.
• Well trampled trails in wooded or swamp areas.
• Cleared out areas in swamps, wooded areas or cornfields.
• "No Trespassing" or "Beware of Dog/Guard Dog"signs, which appear out of nowhere within forests, cornfields etc.
Police also advise the public:
• Not to touch marijuana plants due to the chemicals that may have been used on them.
• To leave the area, record licence plates and call police if confronted by a marijuana grower.
• Do not approach outdoor grow operations due to the low percentage of operations that are booby trapped or guarded.
If you believe you have located a marihuana grow operation, please contact any RCMP Detachment, local police or Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by a Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash award from $50 – $2000.