Rockford Marijuana Operation Results in Jail Time

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:


A Chicago man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for his role in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. YOUSIF Y. PIRA, 65, of Chicago, Ill., was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. On July 13, 2017, following a four-day jury trial in federal court in Rockford, Pira was found guilty of conspiring to manufacture, possess and distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants. According to the indictment and the evidence at trial, between Jan. 2, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2015, Pira conspired with

  • JEREMIAH N. CLEMENT, 39, of Des Plaines, Ill.,
  • GEORGE H. BACUS, 54, of Niles, Ill.,
  • JUSTIN T. PAGLUSCH, 36, of Ingleside, Ill.,
  • SHLIMON SHIMON, 49, of Chicago, Ill.,
  • CASEY WILLIAMS, 30, of Great Falls, Mont., and
  • DESTINY FREEMAN, 24, of Palmer, Alaska,

to illegally grow, store and distribute marijuana in a warehouse located at 1916 11th Street in Rockford.

The warehouse was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 6, 2015.

As part of the conspiracy, Pira purchased grow lights and other equipment and supplies for the illegal
operation to grow marijauna in the warehouse and installed wiring for the lights used to grow

Clement, Paglusch, Bacus, Williams, and Freeman all previously pleaded guilty and admitted their roles in the conspiracy.

Clement was sentenced on June 3, 2016, to 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release; Paglusch was sentenced on June 23, 2016, to 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;

Bacus was sentenced on Sept. 22, 2017, to 33 months in federal prison, to be followed by 2 years supervised release; Williams was sentenced on Aug. 23, 2017, to 57 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release; and Freeman was sentenced on Aug. 24, 2017, to 23 months in federal prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release.

An arrest warrant was previously issued for Shimon, who is still at large.

The sentencing was announced by

  • John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois;
  • Celinez Nunez, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives;
  • Derek Bergsten, Chief of the Rockford Fire Department; and
  • Anthony Scarpelli, Chief of the Skokie, Ill. Police Department.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit and Rockford Police Department
Narcotics Unit assisted in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen and
Margaret J. Schneider.


Rockford Marijuana Operation Results in Jail Time — 3 Comments

  1. Another small farm is lost due to the heavy hand of the government.

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