Niagara Police Arrested 11 People Over Illegal Cannabis Operation Valued at $34M
After uncovering an impressive illegal cannabis grow operation in St. Catharines, Niagara Regional Police seized $34 million in cannabis. The officers executed their search warrant of the building, finding a “well-organized and large scale” cannabis growing operation.
The 11 people arrested in the raid allegedly were tending to around 17,200 cannabis plants growing in a facility located around Third and Main streets. One of these individuals was from St. Catharines, several are from Markham and Scarborough, and one was a resident of New York. Everyone has been charged with the unauthorized production of cannabis.
The investigation began in May after some members of the public complained about the operation. This investigation was performed by the Guns, Gangs, and Grows Unit and the Opioid Enforcement Unit, eventually leading to the bust of the largest grow operation the Niagara police have ever investigated.
The people charged include the following:
- Yongqi Liu, 51, of Scarborough
- Lin Feng Shi, 41, of Markham
- Jin Chan Jian, 35, of Markham
- Xiao Ping Yang, 51, of Scarborough
- Junso Dong, 48, of Scarborough
- Jinying Xue, 52, of Scarborough
- Libo Qian, 54, of Toronto
- Qiaoguo Yang, 50, of Scarborough
- Zengshou Liu, 63, of St. Catharines
- Yingqiu Lin, 68, of New York, USA
Everyone who was arrested for this grow operation has been released from police custody. They are scheduled to appear in court in St. Catharines on September 4. However, one of the suspects who has not been identified will appear for a video bail hearing.
The police claim illegal cannabis grow operations like these cause problems for the community. As residents cope with the potentially offensive odor, they’re also subjected to an increased likelihood of violence.