Peel Regional Police say a 15-year-old Meadowvale girl turned her father in this week, telling investigators he was operating a massive marijuana lab in the basement of the family home.
The accused, a 37-year-old man whose name is being withheld to protect his daughter's identity, also has two younger daughters, ages 8 and 11, who live in the home, according to police sources.
Meanwhile, Peel Children's Aid Society have been called in to investigate. The children haven't been removed from the house, but the investigation is ongoing, according to sources.
The saga began Monday morning when the teen complained to school staff that she had been threatened by her father. In turn, the principal contacted the police force's Neighbourhood Policing Unit (NPU) at 11 Division. Investigators interviewed the girl, police say, and that's when she revealed her father was operating a marijuana grow lab in the basement of the home.
When police searched the home Monday at around 11:30 p.m., they found more than 200 marijuana plants with a street value of more than $200,000, in a locked room in the basement.
The girl's father has been charged with threatening, production of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the 11 Division NPU at 905-453-2121, ext. 1105.
"More and more often, parents are exposing their children to the hazards of marijuana grow labs," said acting Inspector Gerry Conroy of the force's Morality Bureau. "Depending on their age, these children understand they are being exposed to a criminal element and an illegitimate means of making money."
Conroy said mold and mildew that builds up because water is used to operate marijuana labs can cause breathing problems. The chemicals used to grow pot can prove hazardous, as well.
"There is also a fire hazard with these labs because of the extensive light and heat being used," he said.