McHenry County Conservation District Gets Off Easy in Hebron Pot Bust

The McHenry County Conservation District got off easy in the headlines of stories about the marijuana cultivation Wednesday arrest on its land southeast of Hebron off Vandder Karr Road near Kemman Road, as well as the Friday discovery of a second field on its land southwest of Hebron.

Not one headline mentioned it was on MCCD land that the 1,800 and 2,000 3-5 foot pot plants worth an estimated $2 million were found.

One field was grown from seed and the other from transplanted hydroponically grown plants.

A Northwest Herald article said that the different methods of cultivation led investigators to believe operations were not run by the same criminal group, while a Chicago Tribune article said they were “believed to be part of the same operation.”

Do you think that both operations knew of the other?

The satellite photograph above was what I found on Google Maps. It is located east of Route 47 where the “S” curve is. I don’t know if the field in question is in the image, which can be enlarged by clicking on it.

I also don’t know the price of pot, but the estimated value seems to assume each plant is worth $1,000.

Here are the headlines:

Northwest Herald:

Two marijuana farms discovered near Hebron

Almost $4 million worth of pot torched

Chicago Tribune:

Man charged with growing marijuana near Hebron
Sheriff says 4,000 plants were found near Hebron

Associated Press:

Police seize $4 million worth of marijuana plants

Police discover bumper crop of marijuana

Daily Herald:

McHenry County cops burn two massive pot farms

(Elgin) Courier-News:

Cops destroy 2 pot fields

And, the MCCD police did not find it. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency made the discovery in a fly over last fall.

Miguel Talavera-Lopez of Battle Creek, Michigan, was arrested. Another got away,

  • even though police dogs were used and
  • even though Sheriff Keith Nygren told Tribune reporter Phyllis Benson “police noticed the first site during a flyover last fall with Illinois State Police, but the crop had been harvested.”

Seems like some local person might be involved, but, according to the Daily Herald reporter Chuck Keeshan,

“McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said Friday that two migrant workers were ‘recruited at a shopping mall in Chicago, brought there, dropped off and paid to tend to it.’”

I wonder why the dogs couldn’t find the guy Wednesday.

I don’t know if the bloodhound in this photograph taken Thursday August 1st was involved in the search.

Probably not, because I think Josie would have been able to track the fleeing miscreant.

The dog surely tracked well at Camp Lakota near the MCCD headquarters on Deep Cut Road on August 1st when her trainer, a woman whose name I do not remember, followed Josie while she tracked a Cub Scout across a field into the woods.

Northwest Herald reporter Sarah Sutschek got from Nygren that the plants were

“hydroponically grown elsewhere and transplanted” to the MCCD-owned property, leading the sheriff to surmise that the operation was part of a much larger operation.

“We are not completely without investigative leads” Nygren told the Northwest Herald.

Maybe “the rest of the story” will results in further arrests.

= = = = =
The McHenry County Conservation District apparently does not have a map of the land it owns online. At least, I could not find it. You see what MCCD has posted for Hebron.

The Vander Karr Road mention above reminds me that a college girl named Vander Karr worked for me one summer at the McHenry County Treasurer’s Office. She made a lovely ceramic donkey with long eyelashes for me that’s probably somewhere in the basement. If I ever find it, rest assured it will end up as a “Message of the Day.”

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