Four RCMP Killed In Grow-Op Raid


There are reports that four police officers are dead after conducting a raid on a marijuana grow operation northwest of Edmonton.

A shootout reportedly broke out at a farmhouse in Rochfort Bridge near the community of Mayerthorpe, about 130 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. There was concern when the officers had failed to respond to their radios after conducting the raid.

Alberta Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko says the officers were executing a search warrant when they were met with gunfire.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes confirms that the officers were conducting an investigation at a rural residence. He said there was reason to believe a lone male suspect was armed with a high-powered rifle.

A reporter on the scene claims that an RCMP officer has “punched” a CBC reporter.

CBC report


The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police estimates that the number of illegal grow-ops in this province has increased 250 per cent. Revenue could hit $12.7 billion.”

Realty Times – How can you tell if there’s a grow-op house in your neighbourhood.

More details are emerging – this was not a raid, per se, but the intentional killing of four junior officers who had been posted to guard the property until evidence gathering could be completed in the morning. The owner returned to the scene to, for all intents and purposes, execute them.

Colby Cosh has more on the lengthy criminal background on the killer, James Roszko. The notion that grow-ops are run by “agrarian” peace and love hippies is false. Marijuana production in Canada is an industry of hard core criminals and organized crime, complete with the usual trappings of weaponry, booby traps, attack dogs.

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Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.


  1. Inácio Teodoro da Silva says:

    Shame on the federal politicians who make jokes and present marijuana as an inocent drug possible of legalization, as police officers and society pay a horrible price with their own lives. Shame on those politicians. Shame on us for electing them.

  2. Jeremy says:

    It’s very sad to see some very honorable police officers killed, but I don’t think pushing forward with the idea that “marijuana” is at the bottom of this is a quick and easy way to explain away the situation.

    It’s too bad it’s not the accurate way to explain the situation. Decriminization is on the table, not legalization.

  3. Tony Toews says:

    Rubbish to the “Shame on federal politicians…” This is the fault of the armed gunman.

  4. Gyuunyuu says:

    And why would the gunman should point out his gun at RCMP? To show how marijuana is safe to grow? Hm…I wonder why.

  5. Michael says:

    Blaming marijuana for this incident is the mark of a juvenile reasoner. While we’re at it, let’s blame Newton for every plane and space-craft that’s crashed because of gravity.

    Besides that, the word “shame” has a spiritual connotation that is better left for farytales.

    Interesting that when the sh*t hits the fan, people start pushing their own philosophical agendas. Everybody wants to rule the world.

  6. they deserve it says:

    Thats what you get for trying to stop my god given right to smoke weed. They deserved it

  7. Billy Wright says:

    I’m wondering if that gun was registered.

  8. Evangeline Goguen says:

    Its a very sad day in Canada having a daughter who is a RCMP make all parents very upset condoleances to the families may God give you the courage to go through this very difficult time

  9. Ian says:

    This is a tragedy. There is no way anyone could justify these sensless gun deaths.

  10. Dan says:

    When will the governments wake up and legalize all drugs, then the crime rate will take a major drop, drug dealers will be out of business, organized crime cartels will stop bribing judges, elected officials, and police officers and then and only then will problem go away.

  11. Liam says:

    You really need to work on getting a better class of trolls.

  12. moghedien says:

    I wonder if the RCMP lost the “element of suprise” just like the ATF in Waco in ’93…

  13. Stan Heffler says:

    It is with sadness but not surprise I read of 4 RCMP officers being shot in a marijuana raid. In the name of political correctness the requirements for entrance and training are so watered down that the force is emasculated. God help the poor officer who uses lethal force for he will be accused of excessive force. Now we send officers into life threatening situations where they hesitate to act. As the expression goes, “he who hesitates is lost”. We in society have to accept some of the blame for what happened to these 4 officers.
    Stan Heffler Nova Scotia

  14. Canuck says:

    If the more thoughtless on this page are sincere about keeping marijuana illegal, then I hope they lobby to extend prohibition to include alcohol as well. Also, retroactive arrests of former pot smokers such as George Bush should be called for.

  15. Steve says:

    Weed is not the Loch-nar. Vioxx anyone? I wonder who shot first. Besides, if you don’t want to die in a mine collapse, you’re not going to be a miner, are you? Does this mean that these four people are heros now? They got their horticulturist.

  16. Gordon Tryon says:

    I shudder to think that this abysmal page might accurately reflect the level of debate this nation has achieved on such a burning issue. One paradoxical consolation may lie in the possible correlative between all the bad grammar and hazy grasp of logic on the one hand, and the consumption of pot itself on the other: if we just allow them an unrestricted supply of weed, the marawhiners might eventually have to drop the polemic out of sheer inveterate dopiness.

  17. TKC says:

    Being a retired member who also worked in Major Cities ond Drug Sections, I am appaled at the answer noted below that one or your decrepid know it all reader wrote. NOTE:
    “Thats what you get for trying to stop my god given right to smoke weed. They deserved it

    Posted by they deserve it at March 3, 2005 20:03 Permalink”. I never saw a pot head yet that did not start off on marijuana, and it lead to Heroin, LSD etc in my day. People that speak like this should be hung out to dry, and I would gladly do it. One peeved off Retired RCMP Officer at some of the remarks, been there done that and it is no picnic.

  18. LJD says:

    “I shudder to think that this abysmal page might accurately reflect the level of debate this nation has achieved on such a burning issue.”

    Burning. Issue. Get it?

    Seriously though, my brother is a cop. They have a hard enough job to do without this kind of crap. The violent criminals are just that; nothing to do with marijuana.

    The cops should be busy locking up murderers (these guys included)and rapists that go through the revolving door, while America’s jails are filled with those only guilty of substance abuse. Interesting though, how so many are willing to attribute this violence to something they understand very little about, and are unwilling to see the human/social implications of.

  19. James M Wood says:

    Having served as an RCMP Officer for twenty-five years at the “street level”, including drug enforcemnt; we should refrain from rushing to judgement on exactly what when wrong on what is a seemingly routine execution of a “Search Warrant” that resulted in this tragedy. I take exception to the comment posted by the individual who stated “they deserved it”. Without an identifiable source; such a comment should never have been posted and, as such, your policies have to be reviewed in light of any tragedy of this type. I expect that in the future, you amend your source identification. JW.

  20. Kerrie says:

    I smoke weed, and I have not nor will I ever do heroine or crack cocaine. I am shocked at the cold hearted answer “NOTE:
    “Thats what you get for trying to stop my god given right to smoke weed. They deserved it

    Posted by they deserve it at March 3, 2005 20:03 Permalink”.”
    These RCMP deserve every persons respect. If any of you inbreds out there have the audacity to tell me that “if you work in a mine expect to be blown up” then I would beg for your real names. It’s easy to say such harsh horrible disgusting things as these when there is no accounting for yourself. I dare you to say something so vulgar to the face of one of their mothers you disgusting piece of sh*t. I bet your parents aren’t one iota as proud of you as I am of a total stranger who put his life on the line to stop a known kook in that community. It was not just drugs, it involved weapons and stolen property as well. Your over all nature makes me want to vomit mister hide behind the internet “Posted by: they deserve it at March 3, 2005 20:03 Permalink” The most disgusting thing is that RCMP officers are still going to be out there risking their lives for putrid inbred redneck hillbilly cousin humping banjo picking beer can crushing wife beating cross burning poster children for abortions toothless retards such as yourself!!!

  21. Corey says:

    While i agree that the ‘they deserved it’ stance is ignorant, the amount of you who think the drug is the problem is astounding.

    “I never saw a pot head yet that did not start off on marijuana, and it lead to Heroin, LSD etc”

    To this guy, dont be such a moron. Your using backward logic. What you meant to say was that you never saw a heroin addict that hadnt previously smoked pot, because obviously you have not met every canadian that has smoked pot. If you have i say congratulations to you, since more than 25% of the canadian population has done so. And of course the addict has smoked pot before heroin, he also drank alchohol and smoked cigarettes as well. You are simply blaming the marijuana out of convenience. All of these addicts also drank milk before they did drugs, does that make milk the gateway?

    Since ive heard about this ive been reading several articles about this incident, and i notice they all say it was a raid on a ‘suspected Grow Op’. No mention of any seisures or its street value. Perhaps its too early in the process but i cannot remember the last time a drug bust of any kind made news without the police boasting how much the supposed street value was. Was this really a grow op, or is the media grasping for a way to justify four deaths to the general public.

    It seems to me that the only problem with marijuana that has ever existed is its underground trade. Due to it being illegal, there is a great deal of money to be made. This has caused biker gangs and the like to be involved in the trade, which obviously brings crime into it. If it were grown legally and sold like the worlds two other favorite drugs, cigarettes and alchohol, then it would be done by corporations not gangs. And since there will be no need to raid these corporations, no one will be shot unnessicarily.

  22. harie says:

    to the individual who posted “they deserved it. drug users start with weed and work there way must be high or something to make a comment like that. i hope you did not mean it..

  23. Rod says:

    They most certainly did NOT deserve it.

    But the guy growing pot didn’t deserve what was happening to HIM, either.

    This is another one of the reasons people should fight for legality on this issue. There are many many reasons. I do not like the police where I live (sask) simply because they know I smoke pot and to them this is wrong and I should be punished. I know they’re just doing their job, but if they look at the actual evidence (and the pool of that is growing) then they would not prosecute people for an unjust law.

    But it is a person who has been driven to the edge that would take a gun and, in his opinion, defend himself and his property. Just because people smoke or grow pot does not mean that they are going to freak and kill you with a gun if you try and stop them.

    People have been portraying potheads as laid-back couch potatoes for years. One mentally unstable (for whatever reason) person, and all of the sudden we’re all killers. Does this sound like people who actually know what they are talking about?

    No, the police did not deserve it. Hell no. But I and about 6 billion other people did not do this, just one person did. Go deal with HIS problems, and leave the potheads alone.

    In fact, and most marijuana smokers will agree, that if you were to give the average pothead a gun and a bag of weed, they would spend their time trying to figure out how to make the gun into a pipe.

  24. R MacRae says:

    Hmm one must wonder new on the job have a gun i have had run -ins with the rcmp and a lot of them power trip now with my past history with the rcmp(younger days) there was no less than 6 rcmp when ever i was being arrested and no rookies not with my past RCMP fked up and now they paid the price of there “power triping” do i feel for the lost rcmp yes i do should they have been shot no should there co be fired i say yes for sending them on a death mission

  25. Deb Watson says:

    Now it has come out that these officers were called into help with a seizure of a vehicle, and came across what is being loosely termed a “grow-op”, of 20 marijuana plants. Marijuana had NOTHING to do with this incident. Prohibition does not work, as was the case with alcohol and tobacco. The federal government needs to legalize and regulate marijuana, thus eliminating the organized crime element. If alcohol and cigarettes are legal, we are hypocrites when it comes to the criminalization of this God-given substance. Most people I know do smoke marijuana occasionally, and have never tried heroin, cocaine, etc.

  26. Rod says:

    Marijuana is a “gateway drug” only in that people who are interested in trying drugs or changing their consciousness or just lookin to get screwed up can most easily find IT of all of the illegal drugs.
    Generally these people already have tried other legal things, such as booze and tobacco.
    Does that not make booze or tobacco the “gateway”?
    Did you know…
    All of the people who have tried marijuana have previously eaten food. Therefore, by this theory, food is a gateway substance, and should be outlawed.

    Unfortunately, only 20 plants is still enough for the prohibitionists to start freaking out. Why? Total lack of any REAL education about what is going on. If people were actually to look at ALL of the evidence, they would see that legalizing this is a smart thing to do, not the least of the results being that people are no longer going to have to be “put into a corner” as this guy quite obviously felt was done to him (whatever state of mind he was in).

    Not that I support him. But if pot was legal, I know at least five people who would, most probably, still be alive.

  27. doug says:

    His own father called him a wicked devil, his brother called him a psycopath, none of his many brothers and sisters would talk to him. EVERYBODY in the town of 1500 people were terrorized and afraid of this man, NONE were surprised he did this. He had several convictions, jail times and altercations with police. He shot at tresspassers on his land. He offered teenagers $10,000 to kill policemen. Everybody in town including police knew he had weapons, even suspecting and searching for semi-auto assault rifles in the past (you don’t need that to kill a deer) and nobody did very much about this. Now many people and politicians want to address the horror of four slain RCMP members by getting tougher on marijuana… what,who are the ones on drugs here.

  28. Jon e says:

    listen to doug. he has a great point. people on weed don’t rage out and kill people or even become violent at all. Booze on the other hand has been known to cause people to “BLACKOUT”, become violent and loose control. but we can still buy as much booze as we want and the government could care les be cause the make a good chunk of change from booze tax. But they make nothing from selling weed thus they care. You can’t die from smoking too much weed in a sitting, but booze can be very deadly, but who cares right!

  29. toad says:

    i belive that doug has a good point and that this guy was a feak and a idiot! but you can not blame this on pot! i myself some weed and never get angry and llash out when im stoned. gee lets see what would happen if marijuna was legal…….. 5 poeple would be living today! LEGALIZE IT!! oh and who ever thinks that weed is a gateway drug should think about that, its the stupid dumbass people that go and shot herion and sniff lines of coke. they are the totally incharge of their life and they are the ones who Fu*k up! i would never in my life sniff coke or drop some E….if its made from the sh*t under your sink you the hell would you want that in ur body. Marijuna is not a gateway drug, its the people that decide to go higher than some plants that GROW IN THE GROUND.
    please dont make potheads to be the bad guys… cuz were not! we are just chillen out having a toke.

  30. tgvtgtfgg says:

    it sux

  31. tgvtgtfgg says:

    whos fault is it?
    tell me!

  32. anonumous says: