2012-03-16 10:05 PDT
It was a rough couple of years for organized crime in Northern British Columbia after the RCMP Federal CRIME Task Force seized nearly 120,000 marihuana plants, putting a significant dent in marihuana production in the region.
Over the course of its 15 month mandate the Cariboo Region Integrated Marihuana Enforcement task force (CRIME) seized 119, 606 plants, nearly 11 tons of marihuana, on 70 properties which resulted in criminal charges against 78 people.
From a policing perspective, the results that we have seen from the CRIME project were very substantial, says Superintendent Brian Cantera, Officer in Charge RCMP Federal Drug Enforcement Branch.
Federal RCMP investigators worked closely with local detachments to significantly disrupt the ability of organized crime to profit from illegal grow-ops.
In 2010, marihuana grow operations in the Cariboo - North District Region of British Columbia were identified as a widespread problem. Investigators from the Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, and Prince George City RCMP Detachments identified over one hundred marihuana grow operations in the rural areas surrounding their respective communities. The CRIME task force was established to help disrupt these criminal operations.
We know that organized criminal groups, many from the Lower Mainland, were setting up these grow-ops looking to profit and fund additional criminal behaviors which directly and adversely affect local communities. Through strategic and targeted enforcement we were able to disrupt and dismantle the grow-ops. This prevented the illegal marihuana from being used as commodity to export and purchase other drugs such as cocaine or firearms, explains Superintendent Cantera.
We want to build on the success of the CRIME program and that is why we will be providing the resources to ensure that the momentum continues. The North District Integrated Marijuana Enforcement (NDIME) Task Force will provide expertise and support to local detachments, said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond.
We are covering operational costs for 4 municipal members, funding a member from the CFSEU, and providing the unit with additional support from Regional General Investigative Services, and the North District Criminal Intelligence Probe team.
While the CRIME team mandate has expired, criminals won’t have the opportunity to re-establish operations up as a new unit is continuing to target marihuana grow-ops in Northern BC. The North District Integrated Marihuana Enforcement (NDIME) Task Force now provides expertise and support to local detachments.
The CRIME project highlighted a need for investigators who have a specific operational skill-set and knowledge to assist local detachments in Northern BC, says Acting District Commander Supt. Rod Booth.
The creation of the NDIME team will help detachments target illegal marihuana grow operations and the crime groups that set them up.
NDIME is comprised of members from Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, two Federal RCMP Drug Enforcement Branch members, and one member from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. The task force receives additional provincial support from Regional GIS and the ND Criminal Intelligence Probe Team and federal support from the Integrated Proceeds of Crime Section.
By continuing our targeted enforcement of marihuana grow op's in Northern British Columbia we are clearly serving notice that organized crime groups are not welcome, explains Insp. Peter Haring, Operations Officer of North District.
The NDIME team is a value added police service that will help to make our communities safer. NDIME will continue to locate and dismantle grow operations in our communities and not allow criminals to profit from them.
For information on the RCMP's Marihuana Grow Initiative, please visit:
For more information please contact:
Sgt Duncan Pound
Federal Media Relations Officer