Grow ops and drug houses
Marijuana growing operations
Illegal marijuana grow operations can be found in any community throughout the city. Marijuana grow operations come with serious fire and health hazards. Investigating, locating and dismantling illegal marijuana grow operations improves public safety and has a direct and significant impact on the ability of organized crime groups to finance their illegal activities.
Within your community, things to look for that may be indicative of a marihuana grow operation include:
- Windows covered or blacked out.
- Sweating, staining, condensation or wet spots on the siding, stucco, foundation.
- Snow melted of the roof tops in the winter months.
- Electrical meters appearing to be tampered with or altered.
- Occupants of residence never or rarely seen or coming and going at odd times.
- Vehicles coming and going from the residence directly in/out of the garage.
- Minimal furniture inside the residence and lights on timers.
- Garbage disposal minimal or non-existent.
- A yard that is not well kept.
- Surveillance systems installed and monitoring the exterior of the residence.
- "Skunky" smell coming from the residence.
Health and safety hazards of marihuana grow operations include:
- Fire and explosion due to tampered or bypassed electrical systems, extreme heat, altered gas lines and combustible chemicals.
- Intentional deterrents such as booby traps and barricaded doors.
- Building code infractions including unapproved changes to create a growing environment, structural damage and illegal gas, water and electrical bypasses.
- Electrocution or shock from faulty altered wiring.
- Mould growth and water damage from high humidity.
- Chemical hazards and poisonous gas from the insecticides, fertilizers and fungicides used in the growing process.
- Risk of criminal activity and violence in the neighbourhood because of a direct link to illegal marijuana grow operations organized crime.
"Drug house" or "crack house" is a term used to describe a residence or building where drug dealers and drug users buy, sell, produce and use illegal drugs.
Crack is a freebased and hardened form of cocaine and remains one of the most common illegal drugs in Calgary. These types of drug houses are often abandoned or run down and have people coming and going from them for short periods of time at all hours of the night and day.
The Calgary Police Service Drug Unit coordinates investigations of illegal drug distribution within Calgary. It is responsible for investigating street-level drug dealers and targeting crack houses or other locations where drug use may be common.
Members of the unit deliver educational and awareness programs for various groups including schools, community associations and healthcare agencies. Officers also give expert testimony in court.
Members of the Calgary Police Service are partnered with Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) of the Alberta law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT). Within this unit, members of the Green Team South are dedicated to investigating and eliminating illegal marijuana growing operations throughout Southern Alberta.
If you suspect there may be an illegal marihuana growing operation or drug house in your community you can call the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234, the Drug Tip Line at 403-428-8100 or if you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.