Police Seize Kangaroos And Zebras During $150 Million Cannabis Crackdown

Two years ago, you may have heard about the Canadian government's decision to legalize and regulate the growth and production of cannabis.

Although similar programs are in place in some U.S. states, the change in Canada's law affected the country at large and set the limits by which people could own cannabis products and cultivate their own marijuana plants.

As the government's website explains, the law now allows adults to publicly possess and share up to 30 grams of the stuff among each other, as well as grow up to four plants at home for personal use.

This change in regulation has the dual purpose of keeping criminals from profiting off cannabis production and ensuring that marijuana stays out of the reach of underage Canadians.

However, one story coming from the province of Ontario shows that this doesn't mean criminal organizations have given up on their grow operations. And as we're about to see, they haven't become any less bizarre about the way they do business.

Over the summer, the York Regional Police conducted a probe of illegal cannabis operations throughout Southwestern Ontario known as Project Green Sweep.

According to a statement from the police department, this involved raids on 15 different indoor and outdoor growing facilities and resulted in 37 arrests and 67 charges, as well as the seizure of $150 million worth of marijuana.

In terms of product, this amounted to 29,000 plants and almost 4,000 pounds of harvested marijuana.

As The Toronto Star reported, police believe that the product seized was bound for the black market.

As York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween said, "The illegal production of illicit cannabis is a growing problem in York Region and our citizens regularly call to report these large-scale indoor and outdoor grow operations."

But while many of the locations police cracked down on didn't yield any surprises, that could not be said for one grow operation in the village of Schomberg.

As The Toronto Star reported, police uncovered multiple exotic animals from this location with the most notable among them being three kangaroos and two zebras.

The newspaper also reported that police have notified local animal control services, who are now investigating the matter.

Over the course of this probe, York Regional Police also seized an array of weapons that were similarly unusual.

According to their statement, along with seven firearms, two crossbows and "a conducted energy weapon" were seized.

In case this sounds like one of the growers invented a plasma rifle or something, this term apparently refers to a taser.

Police alleged that organized crime groups are maintaining their foothold in Canada's cannabis trade by exploiting the nation's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation.

As The Toronto Star reported, this allows certain growers to keep hundreds of plants to themselves.

When up to four of such growers pool their licenses together, they end up establishing a full-fledged cannabis farm in one location.

When organized criminals do this, this gives them a potential source for funding they use to trade other illicit substances and weapons.

Even with that in mind, the exotic animals still came as a surprise.

h/t: The Toronto Star, York Regional Police