SEYMOUR ARM, British Columbia — This lakeside hamlet is so remote it can be reached only by boat or logging road, and so small there is only one store. But investigators say many of the 60 residents were involved in one business operation — growing marijuana.
One hundred Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers executed search warrants on 14 homes and 14 vehicles Tuesday and found several factory-sized operations within a 2½-mile radius, said Police Superintendent Marianne Ryan. At least 16 people were arrested in the rustic town about 240 miles northeast of Vancouver and more arrests are likely, she said.
“We’ve never seen anything like this before, not where a whole community is affected this way,” Ryan said.
The raid followed a two-year investigation that started with complaints from other residents, and some officers were approached on the town’s dirt street by people who thanked them for the raid, officers said.
“These people are really glad this is over,” Sgt. John Ward said.
Ed Doll, who has spent summers in Seymour Arm for 20 years, said the village was an ideal spot for marijuana businesses.
“This is a remote area only accessible by boat and a single logging road. It’s the last place anyone would look,” Doll said.
Shane Roth said he didn’t want the place to be known for drug activity.
“I don’t want people to think Seymour Arm and then think of that kind of culture,” Roth said.