The RCMP and members of the Crime Reduction Unit from Castlegar executed a search warrant on a residence on Columbia Road in Ootischenia on Tuesday, May 7.
An adult female was arrested the evening of Monday, May 6 and is facing three charges: theft of electricity, possession of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Cpl. Darryl Orr, of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment, said the police were following up on a theft report filed by a FortisBC revenue protection contractor.
“We executed the search warrant today but we had a guard on the house overnight to maintain continuity of the house while the warrant was being prepared,” said Orr.
Orr said it’s always a risk to have a member observing a rural property at night.
“It’s not something we like to do all the time but we didn’t have a choice and had to write the search warrant for today,” he said. “Fortunately, nothing happened and the house was empty when we executed the warrant. It [the grow op] was completely in the lower level; the upper level would have looked like any other house you would have walked into — it was probably one of the cleanest residences I’ve ever been in that had a grow op in the basement.”
He added it has been at least a year and a half since he was involved in a theft of electricity case.
“I’ve been involved in about 15 theft of electricity files and in all but one, the reason for the bypass was to power the electricity for a growing operation,” Orr said. “Any grow up with 1,000 watt light bulbs consumes an extraordinary amount of power.”