Gurnee Mayor's Son Busted for Pot Possession

Key Lime Cove security smelled "strong odor of cannabis"

A son of north suburban Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik was busted for possession of marijuana Thursday night.

“My youngest son made a poor choice late last night. He has to suffer the consequences, however it goes,” Kovarik said Friday.

Jared Kovarik, 19, was one of five individuals charged with pot possession in the incident.

“You raise your children and you hope they make good choices,” the mayor said. “As a family, we have to handle it like thousands of other families who have (this charge). It’s certainly nothing we’re happy about.”

Gurnee police responded to KeyLime Cove water park off Dilley’s Road about 10:30 p.m. Thursday to a possession of cannabis complaint, according to police reports.

Security personnel told officers they allegedly found marijuana in possession of several occupants of a vehicle. The incident started as a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot with two people inside, according to police.

A second vehicle arrived and made contact with the occupants of the first vehicle. KeyLime Cove security noted a “strong odor of cannabis” from inside the car, according to the incident report.

The driver of the vehicle, Michael Replogle, 19, of Gurnee, was in possession of a large amount of what was believed to be marijuana, along with a scale and drug paraphernalia, the police report states.

A total of 26 grams was discovered in the vehicle. One passenger had two cans of beer and three others appeared to have marijuana for personal use, according to the report.

Replogle was charged with Class A misdemeanors of possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia, and Class 4 felony possession of cannabis with intent to deliver. Replogle was remanded to Lake County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Jared Kovarik was charged with Class A misdemeanor attempted possession of a fraudulent ID — driver’s license — and Class C misdemeanor possession of cannabis. He was released on a recognizance bond.

Jeffrey Malazia, 19, of Gurnee, and Jordan Clark, 19, of Kansas, were charged with Class C misdemeanor possession of cannabis. Curtis Saemann, 19, of Gurnee, was charged with possession of liquor by a minor and released from custody.

Conviction of the Class C misdemeanor could mean a fine up to $1,500 and/or 30 days in jail. To qualify as a Class C misdemeanor, a person has less than 2.5 grams of cannabis.

The city of Chicago recently passed an ordinance ticketing people for small amounts of marijuana.

When asked if Gurnee should explore a similar ordinance, the Mayor Kovarik said doing so “trivializes” the behavior.

“It’s illegal. It’s not anything I’m interested in doing in Gurnee,” Kovarik said.

This is not the first time the son of a Lake County public official has been in trouble recently with the law.

The son of Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth, Robert Roth, 23, was charged with DUI, reckless driving, improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident for allegedly driving a vehicle into a tree in Lake Villa while allegedly intoxicated on June 14.


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