PEMBROKE, Ont. - Police in eastern Ontario believe they've busted one of the largest marijuana grow operations in Canadian history.
More than 40,000 plants were seized after provincial police raided a 40-plus-hectare farm in Laurentian Valley Township, just outside Pembroke, Ont., last Thursday.
Numerous officers were called in and worked through the weekend to help recover the plants as well as some farming equipment from what police say was an elaborate operation.
"There was an irrigation system, for one thing," said provincial police spokeswoman Sgt. Kristine Rae.
"One of the things they used was an above-ground pool as well as a pond that was on the property with plastic piping that led out through the fields. The double car garage was set up for drying racks."
Rae said it's unclear how long the operation - described in a police release as the "largest in Canada's history" - had been running.
The plants were found among corn stalks on the farm that neighbours say was rarely used.
Besides a house and a barn, sheep were also kept on the partially treed property, which contains a creek.
Supt. Frank Elbers said this is the largest marijuana grow operation the force has seen since the former Barrie, Ont., brewery plant operation in 2003, which saw some 30,000 plants seized.
Rae said the claim that this may be Canada's largest marijuana bust is based on the number of plants seized.
No arrests have been made yet in this seizure, and the investigation is continuing, Rae said.
"I can't say whether there are suspects or not - there are always persons of interest out there," she said.
In a two-year probe dating back to 2006, Mounties in B.C. found 45,000 marijuana plants in eight buildings in the Williams Lake area. Nine Vancouver-area men face drug trafficking and possession charges after they were arrested earlier this month in connection with that investigation.
In September 2005, police in New Brunswick raided three fields in three communities, netting more than 40,000 plants and five arrests. Those raids were linked to Asian organized crime groups.