Bloc MP helps police make big pot bust
Bloc Québécois MP Maria Mourani is being credited with helping Montreal police make one of the biggest marijuana plant busts in the force's history.
Police raided 14 locations on Friday as part of Operation Neons, including an apartment located above the offices of Mourani's riding office.
A few days ago, Mourani said staff in her office noticed an unusual smell coming from the floors above the office on Clark Street in the city's Ahuntsic district.
Initially, Mourani's staff attributed the smell to humidity in the older building, the MP said.
When the smell persisted, Mourani said, her office staff became concerned it could be masking another odour, so she contacted police.
"They told me they had probably set up here in early January," Mourani said. "So it's not so bad that after three months we drove them out."
When police officers arrived, the found more than 15,000 marijuana plants on the third floor of the building, said Montreal police Const. Olivier Lapointe.
"[That] makes it one of the most important drug busts concerning marijuana plants, grow-op operations that we've made," Lapointe said.
Police discovered an additional 7,500 plants at the other locations raided Friday as well as bags of pot, $40,000 in cash and several firearms, Lapointe said.
Thirteen men were arrested and will face drug-related charges, he said.
The men are believed to have links to organized crime, Lapointe said.
Mourani is the Bloc’s public security critic. She is also the author of a book released in 2006 called La face cachée des gangs de rues, which means the hidden face of street gangs.
With files from The Canadian Press