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Two arrested for Aldergrove grow-op

Two men arrested for the marijuana grow operation connected to last Friday’s murder in Aldergrove made their first appearances in court this week.

Craig Challenger, 27, and Taylor Mears, 32, are both charged with production of a controlled substance in connection to a grow-op in a home in the 900 block of 272 Street.

Both men have been released and are expected again in Surrey Provincial Court on March 26. Challenger doesn’t appear to have any criminal background. Mears however was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2000 in White Rock.

On Friday night, Surrey resident Korey Tyler Kelly, 25, was shot to death while attempting to rob a grow-op that the two men are now charged with cultivating.

They were interviewed as persons of interest in the crime but have not been charged in connection with the murder of Kelly. No arrests have been made in Langley’s first homicide of the year.

Langley RCMP’s drug section went into the Aldergrove grow-op home the day after the murder. They dismantled a grow-op of more than 590 plants, said Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks.

The drug section only focused on the grow-op, so she didn’t know if other evidence was seized from the home.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team believes Kelly, along with two associates, attempted to rip off the grow-op at 272 Street. That’s when Kelly was shot multiple times.

Kelly’s associates managed to get a bleeding and unconscious Kelly into the back seat of their car and drive away, calling 911 in the process, said IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound.

Police officers en route to the 911 call were flagged down by Kelly’s associates. The victim was taken by ambulance but died on the way to hospital.

Kelly had a history of ripping off grow-ops, including an attempted murder charge involving a violent home invasion, grow rip in Surrey in 2004.

He was sentenced to a year in prison for that crime, but was sentenced to a lesser charge of breaking and entering.

He had been actively committing crime for a decade, facing numerous charges for possessing firearms, after being banned from owning them, as well as possession and production of drugs and breaching his conditions.

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