Article by Niagara Regional Police Service
During the month of July, 2017 members of the Niagara Regional Police – Guns, Gangs and Grows Unit began a second drug related investigation into the sale of marihuana and marihuana related products from the Niagara Cannabis Club located at 108 Hartzel Road, St.Catharines.
This location was the subject to a previous search warrant on May 11, 2017 where a quantity of marihuana and marihuana infused products also known as “edibles” were seized.
As a result of information received and observations made, police obtained a search warrant for 108 Hartzel Road along with residences on Pelham Road, Turner Cr. and Leaside Drive in the City of St.Catharines.
On Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 police searched 108 Hartzel Road along with the residences on Pelham Road, Turner Cr. and Leaside Drive seizing thousands of dollars worth of marihuana and marihuana related products along with currency believed to be derived from the sale of these items.
Charged with Possession of a Schedule II Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking and Possession of Proceeds Over $5000.00 is 68 year old Ernest KIRBY and 37 year old Amanda KEEPING.
Charged with Possession of a Schedule II Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Proceeds Over $5000.00, Possession of a Schedule II Substance and Breach of OIC Undertaking is 50 year old Kelly KIRBY and 52 year old, Timothy ROBITAILLE.
Both Ernest KIRBY and Amanda KEEPING were released from custody with a pending court date.
Timothy ROBITAILLE and Kelly KIRBY were held for a bail hearing.
Police would like once again like to remind members of the public that storefronts or private clubs claiming to be a legitimate source of marihuana are not authorized to distribute marihuana and marihuana related products as these products are derived from illegal sources.
As of this time marihuana must be obtained through a licenced producer authorized by Health Canada or by the way of a Personal/Designated Production Licence.
After receiving numerous complaints from the public, Police initiated an investigation into the sale of marihuana from 108 Hartzel Road, St. Catharines. This location is known as the Niagara Cannabis Club.
As a result of observations made and information received, Police obtained a search warrant for 108 Hartzel Road and a Pelham Road address .
On Thursday May 11th, 2017 at approximately 10:25 am the search warrant on Hartzel Road was executed and two people were arrested. Police then attended an address on Pelham Road and executed another search warrant where one male was arrested.
Police searched both locations and seized over $200,000.00 worth of drugs, and several thousand more dollars worth of marihuana infused products commonly known as “edibles”
Charged with 2 counts of Possession of a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance , 2 counts of Unlawful Production of a Controlled Substance, and 1 count of Possession of Proceeds of Crime is 52-year-old Timothy Robitaille and 50-year-old Kelly Kirby.
These two individuals operated the Niagara Cannabis Club, and were making profits by trafficking marihuana buds, marihuana oils and marihuana edible products.
This is the fourth location in less then a month that Police have conducted search warrants on places such as the Niagara Cannabis Club for trafficking in marihuana. Although the operators of these places claim that they are providing a service for those who legitimately need marihuana for medical reasons, they are nothing more then drug traffickers. They are operating on a cash only basis and are directly profiting from the illegal sale of controlled substances.
Police again would like to remind members of the public that locations claiming to be authorized to sell marihuana, are fraudulent. Members of the public can only receive marihuana from a Health Canada approved marihuana producer or a authorized production licence.
Members of the Niagara Regional Police will continue to investigate these types of businesses.
Incident Number: 17-39765/17-74178/17-74177
Submitted By: Rick Weasner
Approved By: Philip Gavin