Nineteen people have been charged after Ontario Provincial Police busted several large cannabis production facilities in southwestern Ontario.
The OPP carried out five search warrants at three greenhouses and two residences Wednesday morning in the areas of County Roads 31 and 34 in Kingsville, and Seacliff Drive West in Leamington.
Authorities said they seized more than 20,000 cannabis plants, more than 1,400 pounds of processed cannabis, some Canadian currency and equipment. They said the cannabis is likely worth more than $18 million.
Eighteen people, with ages ranging between 19 and 72, have been charged with:
Possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling.
Cultivating, propagating or harvesting cannabis plants at a place that is "not their dwelling-house."
The same two charges have been laid against a 19th individual — a 34-year-old man from Mississauga — but he's also charged with possessing "proceeds of property obtained by crime under $5,000."
Those accused will appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Leamington at a later date. OPP say their investigation is ongoing.
"To those individuals or groups who continue to profit from these illegal grow operations, the OPP will relentlessly pursue your interests, seize your property and introduce you into the criminal justice system," said OPP Insp. Glenn Miller.