Property transferred to Crown under Civil Forfeiture Act

Ruling made last Tuesday and full judgement available online

A 6.42-acre property at 10836 Greenwood Drive in Mission has been transferred to the Crown under the Civil Forfeiture Act.

Supreme Court Justice Gordon C. Weatherill also transferred one-fifth ownership of the property at 33293 Dewdney Trunk Rd. to the Crown, along with proceeds of $25,000.  The two properties are owned, directly or indirectly, by eight members of the Hurtubise family, and housed marijuana grow operations.

While the judge found that most of the owners were not aware of the illegal activity taking place on the properties, he found that Henry and his nephew Don, who were the owners of the Greenwood property, knew what was happening and were therefore ordered to transfer their ownership to the Crown.  The judge further found that they tried to avoid forfeiting the property to the Crown by purporting to sell it to Robyn James Bellingroth.

Two-fifths of the Dewdney Trunk Road property was owned by Henry and his wife Irene, while brothers Michael and Barry (Henry’s nephews), and Tracey Kelsey, on behalf of Brilor Homes Ltd. (owned by Henry’s brother Albert) each have a one-fifth stake. Kelsey is Albert’s step-daughter.

All the owners, except Brilor Homes Ltd. and Tracey Kelsey, retained their share of ownership. Weatherill reasoned it wasn’t fair to take Henry’s share away because Irene, who wasn’t aware of the situation, had used her inheritance money to invest in it.

Albert presented the two properties to his family as an investment. The plan was to subdivide them, but they would be rented out until subdivision was approved. Family members trusted Albert to look after the properties.

The Greenwood property was purchased Sept. 23, 2008. On July 10, 2009 police received a warrant to search the property based on suspicions of hydro theft. There were five rooms in the outbuilding which contained more than 1,000 marijuana plants and growing equipment.

A fire at the outhouse in September 2011 revealed marijuana was being grown on the property again.

The Dewdney Trunk Road property was purchased in August 2004. Police entered the property in November 2009 and found a marijuana grow operation with more than 2,500 plants.

Money for rent collected from some tenants were obtained from unlawful activity and those monies have been forfeited to Crown as well.

The ruling was made Sept. 18 and the full judgement can be read online at www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/12/13/2012BCSC1368.htm.

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