Agents Burn $2.5 Million Worth of Pot

Pot-growing operation discovered in forest preserve

There may have been the scent of wacky tabacky in the air.

Authorities discovered, collected and burned more than 5,000 marijuana plants in a forest preserve near Palos Township on Wednesday.

"This is an organized operation," Forest Preserve Police Chief Richard Waszak said. "This isn't just some kids from the neighborhood growing this.

The hemp-icide was enough to make pot-heads everywhere cringe, but Scott Ando, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency's Chicago office, said growing pot isn't a victimless crime.

"The people who organize and grow these plots of marijuana often do things to protect them. They're very often -- in fact, usually -- they're armed.  And quite often, when they're not here at the camp, they set up booby traps,"  Ando said. "Some poor, innocent hiker could come in here and become injured or killed because of it."

If sold, the 12,000 pounds of pot would have gone for about $2.5 million,  Ando said.

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