Presentation on theme: "Marijuana trends in U.S. / Canada and resulting theft Privacy Concerns Agent Status – Law Enforcement Interaction Current Court Rulings Utility / Regulator."— Presentation transcript:
Marijuana trends in U.S. / Canada and resulting theft Privacy Concerns Agent Status – Law Enforcement Interaction Current Court Rulings Utility / Regulator roles Sgt. Roger Morrison (Ret) – Calgary Police Service
Canada 2001 – 2002 Proliferation of Cannabis Marihuana Grows in Alberta. 90 % Asian Organized Crime -Operators from British Columbia 2004 – 2013 Same Criminal groups expanded in rest of Canada and U.S. United States Same Asian based groups setting up primarily Washington State, Oregon, California, and New England. Florida and Georgia have recently seen increases. Primarily in M7 States – now add Nevada and Arizona
NDIC believes that high and increasing levels of domestic eradication could be one indicator of increasing domestic production, fueling availability. In contrast; imports of high-grade marijuana from Canada appear to be decreasing as producers shift operations to the U.S. side of the border. (2011)
Asian DTOs and criminal groups have increased their indoor cannabis cultivation operations in many states; some of these groups are linked in a nationwide criminal network. Asian criminal groups, including some that have relocated from Canada to the United States, have established cannabis cultivation operations throughout the United States. Recent law enforcement reporting reveals that Asian DTOs and criminal groups expanded indoor cultivation operations in 2007 in several areas of the country, including southern and eastern states. Some Asian DTOs that operate grow sites in western states are linked organizationally to groups in other regions of the country, suggesting coordination among some Asian DTOs cultivating cannabis in separate regions of the country. (NDIC 2009)
NDIC (2011) Marijuana use among adolescent students has begun to increase after a decade of gradual decline. This increase was preceded and accompanied by a decline in adolescents’ perception of the risk associated with marijuana abuse, perhaps attributable in part, to conflicting messages imparted by national debates over drug legalization and decriminalization High levels of domestic cultivation, has resulted in high marijuana availability Ethnic Asian Trafficking Organizations Ethnic Asian Canadian-based TCOs, the primary suppliers of MDMA to the United States and major suppliers of high-potency marijuana, are expanding their production operations in the United States. The TCOs are reportedly moving some operations to the United States to escape effective law enforcement pressure in Canada, to lower transportation costs, and to avoid the risk of seizure at the U.S.–Canada border (Northern Border). Asian TCOs, principally Canadian-based ethnic Vietnamese criminal organizations, produce MDMA and marijuana in Canada and subsequently smuggle large amounts of the drugs over the Northern Border for distribution in U.S. markets.
Perceived Lack of Enforcement/Sentencing in Jurisdiction. U.S. becoming more GREEN Economically depressed residential housing market (Mortgage Fraud) Well established criminal elements within community. Services offered by various grow shops including: setup, electrical diversion and distribution. Asian Organized Crime elements and other DTO’s within the housing industry, Utilities, Law Enforcement, mortgage companies, lawyers, and banks. DTO’s will establish “Lawful” enterprises- Electrical Co’s, Mortgage Brokers, Hydroponic stores, Remediation firms…etc DTO - Drug Trafficking Organization TCO – Trans-national Crime Org
Law Enforcement: Low Priority, Lack of Resources. Groups will migrate to jurisdictions where penalties are lax and enforcement is weak. Organized Crime continually improving anti-detection methods. Source – Police successes and warrant information. No economic advantage for Utility (some jurisdictions) Steadily reduced sentencing from courts. (Canada changing) Substantial Profit Potential $1500 – 2500 / pound in Canada in CAN dollars $3000 - $7000 / pound in the U.S. in US dollars Mexican marijuana - $500 lb “It’s just marijuana”
In 2006 lectured to ACPO (all Police Chiefs in U.K.) Explained issues in Canada with the rapid OC expansion. They patted me on the head and said it won’t happen here because in 2004 (latest data at the time they only had 324 Cannabis farms)
April 1, 2014 – Only approved Commercial growers
Canada - November 2012 – Mandatory minimum penalties
400 plants x 5 ounces = 2000 ounces 2000 ounces x 3 (times per year) = 6000 ounces 6000 x $250.00 per ounce (street) = $1.5 million 6000 ounces = 375 lbs 375 lbs x $2500.00 (street) = over $900,000.00 (CAN) 375 lbs x $4000.00 (street) = $1.5 million (US) Average pricing has stayed stable in last 10 years Usually $10 – $15 / gram
They have studied every technique and search warrant ‘information to obtain’ to learn every aspect of investigations Grow supply store increase – Large Asian OC /DTO’s will have own supplier for equipment New Asian/ DTO’s Electrical Contract Companies Areas they like-underground electrical services 1600 to 2700 sq/ft homes front double attached garages typical upper/middle class ‘normal’ areas
Smell of marijuana, heavy Bounce or Moth balls Poor yard maintenance Kids Toys in yard, kid shoes on porch etc… Back vehicles into driveway (without garages) Indented fake window boxes in basement windows Water bypasses Condensation on windows, basement pargeing, stucco (almost always employ charcoal filters, tri-cool fans, de-humidifiers) Attend home once a day for short periods of time – usually 1 hour Will simulate ‘normal usage’ with part of MGO – oscillating fans.etc. Exhaust fan sound When cold, watch furnace flue – normal furnace runs about 5 mins MGO exhaust continuous When really cold exhaust will drop from flue, normal exhaust rises
Utility Account in fictitious name Owner information usually different Phone numbers usually bogus or throw away cell Acct info may be in Asian name or hybrid name (Dave Tran) Move to full Caucasian names on mortgage and Utility accts Multiple owners in last 2 years- in quick succession, multiple Utility acct changes – owner info and Utility holder times do not match. Ie. Owner changes – utility doesn’t and vice versa Names and phone numbers also related to other accounts Active video surveillance Passive surveillance on transformers (tape)
Water Bypass- In one S/W in the information investigator used excessively high water usage meter data for one of the grounds in the warrant. After Court proceedings water bypass rate in Calgary, AB for grow operations at approx 80%
Calgary, AB Dec 2009 5 homes destroyed Power diversion Approx 4 Million damages
In Canada, Police allowed to have DRA installed without a search warrant (off property) Supreme Court of Canada (R. vs GOMBOC)
Law Enforcement Interaction If Police contact Utility and request information or initiate investigation, the Utility is automatically an ‘Agent’ of Police. Different jurisdictions will dictate current procedures; i.e. Search Warrant Production Order, or simple compliance. With Case Law and Constitution/Charter challenges prepare for strict procedures. In Canada we have continual ongoing challenges that alter case law and procedures on a monthly basis. As fully funded DTO’s in the U.S. grab a firm stronghold, be prepared for continued litigation (Civil and Criminal). DTO’s fully fund defence actions and civil proceedings, provides level of support and comfort for primary operators (house sitters)
Utility / Regulator Roles Utility has most authority in theft investigations, as they are responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of electricity. With diversions Utility is the victim of the crime and can simply report it to Law Enforcement and supply information (without Subpoena or Search Warrant) negating privacy concerns. Let’s get past the de-criminalization debate and simply deal with it as a power diversion theft, regardless of use. Utility has final decision to alert authorities and/or simply ‘disconnect’. Current efforts in three regulatory areas to have ‘power diversion’ included in Demand Side reduction, conservation, and loss included into rate base. This negates any negative motivation of Utility to actively pursue diversions.
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