ALGONQUIN – An Algonquin man is charged with unlawful production of marijuana, possession of marijuana with an intent to deliver and criminal damage to property after DuPage County Forest Preserve police found more than $1.4 million worth of marijuana plants.
Police said Marcelino Villa-Rodriguez, of the 200 block of Blackhawk Trail, grew 316 marijuana plants on forest preserve district property.
The plants were discovered Sept. 14 when police were on a foot patrol looking for illegal deer stands at Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve.
The plants appeared to be an organized cultivation site that consisted of three plots growing in close proximity within a wooded area of the preserve.
District officers began surveillance of the area, according to a news release.
On Sept. 20, Villa-Rodriguez pruned several of the plants and was taken into custody, police said.
While processing the scene, which included an adjacent area of non-district property, officers found about 7.5 pounds of marijuana material in two containers in a storage structure, according to the news release.
The estimated street value of the drugs is $1.45 million.
“This is the largest cannabis-cultivation site discovered on district property,” the forest preserve police said.
The DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group assisted with the case.
Lt. Jim Royer of the forest preserve police said the case remains under investigation.