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400 lbs of marijuana worth over $1M seized by Hamilton police

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Drug bust will put put significant dent in street level drug trade, police say

Buying pot in Hamilton just got a lot more difficult, thanks to local police — officers have seized over 400 pounds of marijuana valued at over $1 million.

“A seizure that large would definitely affect how much people can access the product,” acting Sgt. Rich Vanderboom told CBC Hamilton. “You will definitely notice it at the street level.”

“It’ll take a fairly substantial time for this to recover. It’s not like a dealer can just call someone up and say ‘resupply me.’”

This seizure stymies a large drug trafficking operation in the city, Vanderboom says. To put the amount in perspective, 400 pounds is about how much an average gorilla or black bear weighs.

The bust started months ago with a simple traffic infraction stop where drugs were found — and police followed the network structure up to this seizure.

On May 26, police searched a storage unit in Mississauga and a home in Glanbrook. They found over 400 pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana that was ready for distribution, a semi-automatic handgun with ammunition and drug processing equipment.

Police also seized a 2014 Audio S4 Quattro and a 2014 Kia Forte.

Vanderboom says it’s the largest processed marijuana seizure he’s ever seen. “It’s a very significant seizure,” he said. And the $1 million price tag is even a bit of a conservative estimate — that’s the value of the drugs when sold at the per pound level. When sold at the street level, markups would drive the price even higher, he said.

Two 23-year-old Hamilton men were arrested and have been charged with various drug and firearms-related offences.

Police believe there are other people involved in the operation who are still out there. Anyone with information about the operation is asked to call police at 905-546-2447 or Crime Stoppers at 905-522-8477.

Buying pot in Hamilton just got a lot harder, thanks to local police — officers have seized over 400 pounds of marijuana valued at over $1 million.

Nearly 400 pounds of marijuana seized at Alexandria Bay home

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) – Nearly 400 pounds of high-grade marijuana, smuggled from Canada by boat, was seized in the village of Alexandria Bay Wednesday. That’s according to Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly with Homeland Security Investigations.

Kelly said law enforcement officials raided a home in the Harbor Villas town house complex and found 224 pounds of marijuana inside as well as 169 pounds of pot in a van parked outside. A total of nine duffel bags filled with marijuana were found throughout the property, officials said.

The street value of the marijuana is estimated between $300,000 and $600,0000, according to federal officials. However, federal officials say its value on the street could be more than $1 million in some markets, like New York City. The Metro-Jefferson Drug Task Force says it’s worth more than $1 million in the north country.

“There’s a lot of vulnerable points up in the north country. A lot of the smuggling is epidemic and it’s also apathetic and it’s just based on supply and demand,” said Kelly.

A man identified as 36 year old En Li of New York City was charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana. He was arraigned in Watertown City Court Wednesday night and ordered held in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $200,000 bond.

Kelly said Li rented out the Alexandria Bay home over the internet for a short amount of time.

“We believe this place was rented for the sole purpose of smuggling narcotics to the U.S. It’s part of a bigger conspiracy that operates in that area.,” said Kelly.

“I definitely thought something was going on. It’s pretty much quiet here. I came down and talked to the Alexandria Bay police officer and he said that there was a seizure and that the guy wouldn’t be coming back to the unit, which is a good thing,” said Walter Palmieri, who lives at Harbor Villas.

Kelly said the bust is potentially part of a bigger network involving maritime smuggling. He also said the marijuana is high-grade and hydroponically grown.

Involved in the bust were the Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection and Metro-Jefferson Drug Task Force, New York State Police, New York State Parks Police, and Alexandria Bay Police Department, with cooperation from Canadian authorities.

Nearly 400 pounds of high-grade marijuana, smuggled from Canada by boat, was seized in the village of Alexandria Bay Wednesday.