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Man arrested for growing marijuana indoors

Bernard Kondenar 39 18000 block State Line Road Antioch Township is facing charges Lake County Circuit Court after police found

Bernard Kondenar, 39, of 18000 block of State Line Road in Antioch Township is facing charges in Lake County Circuit Court after police found a sophisticated growing operation in seven basement rooms with a total of 374 marijuana plants.

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Updated: February 23, 2014 6:26AM



A man who last summer was hoping to start an alternative farm in conjunction with Antioch High School students has been arrested for indoor farming of marijuana plants.

Bernard Kondenar, 39, of 18000 block of State Line Road in Antioch Township is facing charges in Lake County Circuit Court after police found a sophisticated growing operation in seven basement rooms with a total of 374 marijuana plants, some just started and others four to five feet tall. There were grow lights and hydroponics.

Kondenar also had the equipment and was in the process of making a product call wax, which uses the marijuana leaves to make a concentrated form of product that is high in THC, similar to hash, but looks like wax. It has become a common form of the drug because it concentrates the THC.

Police were alerted to possible problems at Kondenar’s home by school officials who talked to one of his children.

Kondenar was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis sativa plants (Class 2 felony), unlawful possession of cannabis 1,462 grams (Class 3 felony), unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (Class 2). His bond was set at $75,000. He later posted the required 10 percent.

He was profiled in the Lake County News-Sun this past summer as one of two families that were going to start ALT Farms (Alternative Farming Solutions) in Antioch Township that promoted a more holistic way of living that includes wild harvest, organic farming and eschewing television and electronics. Drug use was also frowned upon.

The founder and man behind the effort, which included training high school environmental club members, was Mitchell Valentine, who said in the article he wanted to bring people closer to themselves, their friends and family and the earth. “You need faith, family and friendship,” he said, in that order, then comes “finances, fences, fitness, fun and food. And to do that you need the Big F, the farm,” he said.

Kondenar said in the article that his family uses goats to keep the grass down on their 10 acres and then the chickens come in and feed in the area. He got into the self-sufficiency movement while researching career options. He had worked in the building trades.



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