RCMP in New Brunswick say they have discovered a significant marijuana grow operation after responding to a fire at a special care home for seniors in Clarks Corner.
Emergency crews responded to the Forever Young Special Care Home around 11 a.m. Thursday.
Police say first responders at the scene discovered the grow-op in the basement of the facility.
RCMP say they discovered a marijuana grow operation in the basement of this Clarks Corners, N.B. nursing home. (CTV Atlantic)
“We obtained a search warrant last night for the property,” said Minto RCMP Cpl. Brian Villers on Friday. “We executed that search warrant last night and seized over 550 marijuana plants.”
Officers also seized marijuana growing equipment and a large quantity of marijuana from the care home.
They say the plants seized could have produced up to 275,000 marijuana joints.
Police believe the fire is related to the grow-op.
All six residents of the home were safely evacuated from the building.
Family members tell CTV News the nursing home is closed permanently. With nursing home space already limited, the residents are now scrambling to find new homes.
“Now we’re stuck in a situation of, we really don’t know where we’re going, what we’re doing,” says Shelly Harris, whose parents lived at the home. “I’m taking them to my house and we’re going to be cozy for a while.”
“We’re not sure if we can handle her, she’s having a hard time herself,” says Donna Langin, whose mother-in-law lived at the home. “She’s 93, so we have to deal with that. We’re thinking of keeping her. We’re thinking of a home, we’re not sure. It’s early days.”
Peter Coakely is listed as the operator of the care home on a government website. He declined a request for an interview.
The New Brunswick Department of Social Development, which oversees nursing and special care homes, also declined to speak about the matter.
The family members of some residents say the operator was kind and caring and that he treated their loved ones with dignity and respect.
They also say there was no indication any illegal activity was taking place inside the home.
No arrests have been made at this time but police say charges of production and trafficking could be laid.
“The investigators have yet to fully document the file because they worked late last night, so once they have fully documented everything and fully see what we seized last night, then we can really start the investigation and see who is responsible for the grow operation,” says Villers.