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RCMP Bust Quebec Pot Trafficking Operation, North Of Montreal

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SAINT-JEROME, Que. - The RCMP says it has busted a major cannabis trafficking and production ring north of Montreal.

About 90 police officers made eight arrests and conducted 14 seizures Wednesday in nine different towns in the Laurentian region.

Police allege the group was able to produce dozens of kilograms of marijuana on a weekly basis. Officers seized 1,250 cannabis plants, 34 kilograms of buds, $43,000 in cash and seven vehicles.

An RCMP spokesman alleges the group likely has ties to organized crime.

"It is a network that is well structured and is probably linked to a criminal organization that we could qualify as professional," said Erique Gasse.

"To have found so much material and such a good organization, it suggests to us that they are not amateurs."

The police operation targeted six rented homes and one commercial property serving as indoor grow-ops. Police said one of the residences was used as a processing and packaging plant.

The suspects will face charges that include gangsterism as well as possession and production of marijuana with intent to traffic.

The RCMP, which initiated the investigation in May, worked with a number of local police forces during Wednesday's operation.

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