It was the discovery of more marijuana growing in the Hebron area in a press release issued by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department that reminded me of the August 2008 and August 2009 discoveries of three pot fields, some of which were reported to be located on McHenry County Conservation District property.
I filed the following Freedom of Information request:
Now that there is no active investigation about the marijuana found growing on McHenry County Conservation District land, I request documents, photos, etc., relating to the marijuana on MCCD land referred to in the following articles:
August 4, 2008:http://mchenrycountyblog.com/
2008/08/04/mchenry-county- conservation-district-gets- off-easy-in-hebron-pot-bust-2/
August 14, 2009:
Thanks for your cooperation in fulfilling this request.
I just received the following reply:
Dear Mr. Skinner:
Based on the information that you have provided we are unable to locate the documents you are requesting.
The Freedom of Information Act establishes clear guidelines for receiving documents from government offices. It does not mandate that we research articles on websites outside of our control in an attempt to determine what document you are requesting.
We would like to extend to you another opportunity to clarify your request. Please provide adequate information that would clearly describe the document. Names, Dates, Locations and any other information that you may have available to you that would best describe the documents that you are requesting would be helpful.
Freedom of Information Officer
My reply follows:
From your request, perhaps I should conclude that there were so many fields of marijuana found on McHenry County Conservation District property during the beginning of August, 2008, or the end of July, 2008, that you cannot figure out what I am requesting when I referred you to my article of August 4, 2008:
While I consider that absurd, I have now provided you with a period in which to search for the requested documents.
The approximate locations, one of which was shown on a map at the top of the article was “on its [MCCD's] land southeast of Hebron off Vandder Karr [Vanderkarr] Road near Kemman Road, as well as the Friday discovery of a second field on its land southwest of Hebron.”
One of the locations included the arrest of “Miguel Talavera-Lopez of Battle Creek, Michigan,” which is information contained in the article.
Please provide all documents concerning the two discoveries, including the photo of Miguel Talavera-Lopez.
With regard to the second part of the request, referred to in my article of August 14, 2009:
the information is contained in a press release from your office, which I am sure will be among the documents provided me. It was issued on the Thursday of the week during which Aug. 14, 2009, falls.
I will reprint the press release, which was contained in my article below. Surely your office can figure out what documents to provide me which relate to your own press release.
Cannabis Grow Operation Discovered Near Woodstock
Sheriff Keith Nygren announced the eradication of approximately two thousand five hundred cannabis plants at an outdoor cannabis grow operation located near northeast unincorporated Woodstock, Illinois. Members of the McHenry County Conservation Police discovered the outdoor cannabis grow operation and campsite during a recent joint investigation.
On August 12, 2009 members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit, McHenry County Conservation Police, Illinois State Conservation Police and the DEA (Rockford Division) eradicated a cannabis field less than 2 acres in size. The field showed indications that it had been recently tended to and was in preparation of being harvested.
The estimated street value of the eradicated cannabis plants is 2.5 million dollars. The cannabis plants averaged from 5’ to 10’ in height. No suspects were arrested in conjunction with this outdoor cannabis grow.
This is the first such eradication to take place since 2008 in McHenry County. Evidence recovered from the scene is being evaluated for comparison to previous fields that were eradicated last year.
Any person with information about this crime or any others is encouraged to contact the McHenry County Sheriff’s Narcotics Division 1-815-338-2144 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-762-STOP. (1-800-762-7867).