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Man charged in Leamington garage fire after $500,000 in cannabis products seized
OPP and Leamington firefighters were called to the fire the 500 block of Mersea Road 8 in Leamington, Ont., on Jan. 29, 2020. (Courtesy Andrew Baird / Twitter)
LEAMINGTON, ONT. -- Essex County OPP say a 56-year-old man is facing a Cannabis Act charge after a garage fire in Leamington.
OPP and Leamington firefighters were called to the fire the 500 block of Mersea Road 8 for a fully-engulfed structure fire on Jan. 29 around 2 p.m.
During the fire investigation, investigators say they found several items related to the production of illicit cannabis and cannabis by-products.
On Jan. 30, OPP executed a search warrant and seized approximately 80 kilograms of dried cannabis, approximately 60 kg of cannabis oils and resins and approximately 1 kg of hardened cannabis resin (shatter), with an estimated street value of approximately $500,000.
Douglas Johnstone, 56, of Chatham is scheduled to appear in a Leamington court on March 19, charged with alter or offer to alter the chemical or physical properties of cannabis by the use of an organic solvent.
The Office of the Fire Marshal, the OPP Community Street Crime Unit and Clandestine Laboratory Investigative Response Team are assisting with the investigation, which remains ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding this or any other incident is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at www.catchcrooks.com where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.