Eleven people arrested in relation to drug investigation in St. Catharines

Niagara Regional Police Service press release – In May of 2020, members of the Niagara Regional Police Service, Guns, Gangs and Grows Unit and the Opioid Enforcement Unit, began an investigation into a large scale illegal cannabis grow operation, in the area of Third Street Louth and Main Street, in the City of St. Catharines.

The investigation commenced as a result of complaints from members of the public, concerned about the operation taking place from that location.

On Tuesday, June 30/2020, police executed a search warrant at that address, after obtaining authorization from a Justice of the Peace.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., police entered the properties and immediately observed a well-organized and large scale cannabis growing operation. Police located 11 persons working on and tending to the cannabis plants found within.

Upon searching the property, police found approximately 17,200 plants in various stages of growth. The estimated value of the marijuana is approximately $34,000,000.00.

This is the largest marijuana grow operation investigated by the Niagara Regional Police Service.

Yongqi Liu (51 years old), of Scarborough, was arrested and charged with the alleged following offence:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Liu was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Lin Feng Shi (41 years old) of Markham, Ontario was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Shi was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Jin Chin Jiang (35 years old) of Markham, Ontario, was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Jiang was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Xiao Ping Yang (51 years old) of Scarborough, Ontario, was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Yang was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Junso Dong (48 years old) of Scarborough, Ontario, was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Dong was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Jinying Xue (52 years old) of Scarborough, Ontario, was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Xue was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Libo Qian (54 years old) of Toronto, Ontario, was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Qian was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Qiaoguo Yang (50 years old) of Scarborough, Ontario, was arrested and charged with the alleged offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Yang was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Zengshou Liu (63 years old), of St. Catharines, Ontario, was arrested and charged with the alleged following offence of

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Liu was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

Yingqiu Lin (68 years old) of New York, USA, was arrested and charged with the alleged following offence of:

  • Unauthorized Production of Cannabis contrary to the Federal Cannabis Act

Lin was released on a Form 10 – Undertaking and is expected to appear at court on September 4/2020.

A suspect has yet to be identified and has been held pending a video bail hearing on Wednesday, July 1/2020, until his identity can be determined.

Illegal operations such as these pose several concerns and potential issues for the community and nearby residents; including offensive odour and the potential for violence.

The Niagara Regional Police would like to remind members of the public that under legalization, individuals can produce up to four cannabis plants per residence. If a member of the public has been granted a Health Canada issued registration/licence to produce cannabis for medical purposes, those authorizations are specific to the named individual and location as well as the prescribed plant amount.  Cannabis grown for one’s own medical purpose cannot be sold, given or transferred to other parties. Aside from Federal Producers and regulated storefronts, it is an offence under the Cannabis Act to distribute or sell cannabis.

Should a member of the public have questions surrounding cannabis production they can contact the Niagara Regional Police Guns, Gangs and Grows Unit or members of the Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team.