Police Bust "Sophisticated" Pot Farm in Bourbonnais - NBC Chicago

Police Bust "Sophisticated" Pot Farm in Bourbonnais

Man faces drug charges, criminal fortification of a residence



    Police Bust "Sophisticated" Pot Farm in Bourbonnais
    George Botica had 73 marijuana plants, along with guns and ammunition inside his Bourbonnais trailer, according to police.

    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.