Quebec police mistook fruit experiments for marijuana grow-op, couple alleges
Couple says police raided home while they were away, ruining their fruit experiments
A couple from St-Anselme, Que., is suing Quebec provincial police for $65,000 for mistaking fruit experiments for a marijuana grow-op.
Jean-François Pinault and Liv Larsen filed court documents earlier this week in provincial court.
They say police executed a search warrant and raided the couple's home on Feb. 19, 2014, while the two were away.
Pinault and Larsen were growing melons, strawberries and giant ground-cherries in their basement.
Police obtained the warrant after seeing Pinault, who has a master's degree in organic chemistry, at a store specializing in hydroponics.
Officers had arrested several people from the store, called Hydrobec, alleging they supplied seeds and gave advice about growing marijuana at home.
But they never found any marijuana in the Pinault-Larsen home.
And police did not leave things the way they found them, the couple alleges.
They say police left a trap door to the attic open, as well as doors to several rooms on the second floor.
When they returned two days after the raid, they say the central heating system had kicked into overdrive.
As a result, the temperature in the basement rose above 30 C, frying the plants.
None of the claims have been proven in court.
The couple is asking for $40,000 for the loss of the experiments and another $25,000 in punitive and moral damages.