Large grow op busted

A traffic stop for a broken headlight leads local police to a grow op in Beaverdell.

On Monday, Jan.9 Midway RCMP pulled a vehicle over for a broken headlight. The male provided police with a false name and it was later determined that the male was wanted by police and prohibited from driving.

Cpl. Kevin Christensen of the Midway RCMP reported that the following day, in attempting to locate and arrest the male from the previous night, police attended to a residence near Beaverdell and discovered a large-scale marijuana grow operation. Over 1,600 marijuana plants were seized. Police expect arrests and charges to be made in the near future.

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Christensen warns local businesses of break and enters and thefts that have been occurring near Castlegar and Nelson in which the suspect(s) are targeting businesses with ATM machines. RCMP want to ensure that businesses are aware of the recent thefts and to take the necessary precautions to ensure their businesses are safe by ensuring video surveillance system is operational (recording device is hidden or locked up), alarm system is operational, and cash tills are empty.***

The West Kootenay Traffic Services (WKTS) and West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) had a very busy year last year, with nine fatalities in the area.

WKTS said in its annual report that of these nine fatalities, two were alcohol related and two were pedestrian fatalities. The other causal factors were speed, mechanical or distracted driving. “Our condolences go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones,” said Cpl. John Ferguson in the release.

Drinking and driving, seatbelt and distracted driving are leading factors in serious or fatal collisions. This year 90 impaired drivers were taken of the road and 120 suspensions were issued in the West Kootenay Boundary area. The units served 1,430 seatbelt tickets and 325 distracted driving charges (cell phone).

Drug possession seems to be on the rise with 500 drug seizures. Excessive speed charges, which goes with a seven-day seizure of the vehicle is also on the rise with 63 seizures. The units served over 7,300 violation tickets.

“The WKTS and IRSU units are striving to reduce crashes and injuries to our motoring public by enforcement and education in high crash areas,” said the release. “We urge all people to slow down, buckle up, stay off the cell phone and get a designated driver. The consequences of an impaired driving charge financially and emotionally on an individual are tremendous.”