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Multi-state pot growing operation busted

  1. Balzafire
    [h2]Seizure estimated at $3 - $5 million[/h2]
    COOK COUNTY, Ill. - A father and son are facing drug and weapon charges after Cook County Sheriff's Police officers discovered extensive and sophisticated drug growing operations in both their homes.

    The Cook County Sheriff's Office says 69-year-old Jay Zimmerman and 42-year-old Alan Zimmerman are the owners of homes on the 6800 block of Latrobe Avenue in suburban Skokie and on the 1700 block of Summerlin Court in Chesterton, Indiana where the drugs and guns were seized.

    Jay Zimmerman has been charged with felony manufacturing and deliver of cannabis.

    His son Alan Zimmerman has been charged by Indiana law enforcement officials with felony possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Over a lengthy period of time, Cook County Sheriff's Police officers gathered leads and conducted surveillance on an alleged drug growing house operation in Cook County and from that discovered the operation extended to the home in Indiana.

    Officials obtained search warrants for both homes and on July 28, the Sheriff's Police South Narcotics Unit, the Porter County Narcotics Task Force, Skokie Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency served the search warrants at both homes.

    According to officials, Alan Zimmerman was arrested at the Chesterton, Indiana home and Jay Zimmerman was arrested at the Skokie home.

    At the Indiana home officials discovered an elaborate grow operation with lamps, air purifiers and a sophisticated watering and filtration system in the basement.

    Officials also seized: 383 cannabis plants, 22,700 grams of cannabis, 3 shotguns, 4 assault rifles and one pistol, as well as 2 SUVs and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

    A smaller, but similar, drug growing operation was found in the Skokie home, as well as 2 pistols, 1 assault rifle and 17,252 grams of cannabis, authorities said.

    Authorities say the estimated street value of the confiscated marijuana is $3 to $5 million.

    Additional charges are expected for both men.

    Jay Zimmerman's bond was set at $10,000, he will return to court August 27.

    Alan Zimmerman is being held without bond and will return to court in Porter County October 5.

    WGN News
    August 9, 2010


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