195 pounds of pot nets Elmhurst man 5 years in prison

Pleads guilty to biggest drug bust in Lake in the Hills history

WOODSTOCK – An Elmhurst man charged in what Lake in the Hills police have called the biggest drug bust in the department’s history was sentenced to five years in prison.

The trial for Anthony V. Occhipinti, 35, was set to begin Monday, but instead he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana, a Class 1 felony. In exchange for his guilty plea, a Class X felony drug charge was dismissed. The agreement was accepted by McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham.

Police in November 2010 discovered 195 pounds of packaged marijuana in the trunk of Occhipinti’s car in Lake in the Hills, Assistant State’s Attorney Carlene Kay said.

There were 10 packages, each weighing about 20 pounds, she added.

At the time of his arrest, police estimated the street value of the drugs to be $1.76 million.

Occhipinti was immediately taken into custody after entering his plea. He had been free since shortly after his arrest after posting $7,500 bond.

Occhipinti was recommended for the Illinois Department of Correction’s impact incarceration, or boot camp. He also was ordered to pay $6,224 in fines and court costs.

In 2012, Occhipinti was convicted in Dade County, Fla., for possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony, court documents show.

The marijuana will be destroyed.