Members of the York Regional Police found the exotic animals in a village outside Toronto last summer during a months-long investigation into illegal cannabis being sold in the area that resulted in 37 arrests, the department announced last week in a press release.
During the operation — dubbed Project Green Sweep — police also recovered about $150 million worth of marijuana, guns and crossbows from several cannabis growing sites in the region, authorities said.
Investigators said they were targeting locations believed to be exploiting the country’s medical marijuana licensing system to illegally push vast amounts of marijuana into the streets.
“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,” York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween said in a statement.
“Organized crime continues to exploit an outdated Health Canada medical licensing system, which is generating tremendous profit that we know is resulting in violence and funding other criminal activity in our community.”