Police Bust "Sophisticated" Pot Farm in Bourbonnais

Man faces drug charges, criminal fortification of a residence

Sunday, Apr 1, 2012  |  Updated 3:33 PM CDT
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Police Bust Indoor Pot Farm in Bourbonnais

George Botica had 73 marijuana plants, along with guns and ammunition inside his Bourbonnais trailer, according to police.

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Police on Saturday night found what they classified as a “sophisticated” cannabis grow operation, as well as an array of drug paraphernalia, ammunition, and a handful of weapons at a mobile home in Bourbonnais.

Following a citizen’s complaint about possible illegal drug activity at the home at 91 Apple Lane, agents from the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (KAMEG) executed a search warrant at the home about 10:55 p.m., a release from KAMEG said.

While serving the warrant and attempting to gain entry into the home, agents encountered a fortified door, which caused a short delay. While searching the mobile home, agents located a sophisticated cannabis grow, with 73 high-quality cannabis plants growing at different stages, 3.3 pounds of processed cannabis, drug paraphernalia, ammunition, three handguns and one rifle, the release said.

The plants and processed cannabis had a conservative estimated street value of up to $35,000, according to the release.

“This indoor cannabis grow could have yielded a maximum of up to a pound of processed cannabis per plant, for a total of 73 pounds of processed cannabis,” according to KAMEG Director Jamal Simington.

The resident, 56-year-old George P. Botica, was arrested and charged with cannabis production of 50 or more plants, manufacture/delivery of cannabis -- over 500 grams, and criminal fortification of a residence, all felonies.

Botica was taken to the Jerome Combs Detention Center where he is being held on an initial bond of $100,000.

“These indoor cannabis grows are extremely dangerous, use an array of hazardous chemicals and fertilizers, and by their very nature have significant health and extreme fire hazards. A citizen’s tip led us to this finding and we are thankful for our community partnerships,” Simington said.

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