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Saanich house seized years after grow-op found

Jan 12 2012

A home in Saanich has been seized by the province under the Civil Forfeiture Act more than five years after police uncovered a drug operation inside.

Saanich police searched the home, in the 900 block of Karen Crescent, in December 2006 and found a sprawling grow-operation of 366 marijuana plants in the basement, police spokesman Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.

A man and woman who owned the house were charged with drug production and possession for the purpose of trafficking, but were never convicted.

Police recommended the home be seized under the act, which gives the province the power to seize homes if it can prove they are used for the proceeds of crime.

The Office of Civil Forfeiture took 70 per cent of the net equity, $75,000, after the home was sold in December.

Homes have been seized in Victoria and across the Island in connection with drug crimes, but civil liberties groups oppose the measure, saying it circumvents the court process.

"It's an excellent example of the jeopardy you face if you intend to grow marijuana in our community," Jantzen said.

On Monday, Saanich police found a grow-op in a home in the 4200 block of Douglas Street, north of McKenzie Avenue.

Officers seized more than 400 marijuana plants and a .22 calibre rifled with ammunition.

A 27-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were arrested and face charges of drug production and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.

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