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Gurnee man charged with growing pot at hydroponics business

Updated: December 22, 2012 6:29AM

The owner and an employee of a Lake in the Hills business that uses soil-free “hydroponic” methods to grow plants have been charged with growing the wrong kind of plants.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that owner Michael Singley, 40, of Rockton and employee John E. Czaplicki, 22, of Gurnee, face drug charges after the discovery of marijuana plants at Big Grow Hydroponics, 9225 Trinity Drive.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said deputies had received a tip that employees at Big Grow had been selling marijuana and on Monday sheriff’s deputies arrested the two after serving a search warrant at the business. Deputies also seized a vehicle, $1,615 cash, about 1,200 grams of cannabis, a digital scale, packaging materials and multiple items of drug paraphernalia. Zinke estimated the street value of the cannabis at $11,000.

Czaplicki was charged with delivery of cannabis (a Class 2 felony) and possession of cannabis (a Class 3 felony). On Tuesday, a judge set his bail at $50,000 and assigned him a Nov. 29 court date. Singley was charged with possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (a Class 4 felony) plus misdemeanor possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia. A judge set his bail at $20,000 and assigned him a Nov. 28 court date.

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