March 24, 2017 Fair, 68F

Mistake, stench lead McHenry County sheriff police to grow houses

WOODSTOCK – McHenry County Sheriff’s Office brought down two marijuana grow houses – one by mistake and one by design – but in both instances deputies simply followed their noses.

A simple mistake and an agreeable family member led to the unraveling of one alleged marijuana growing operation. And a second came undone when police said suspects attempted to burn their marijuana plants.

This according to McHenry County sheriff deputies, who charged four people in the two separate cases over the few days.

Sheriff’s deputies on Saturday pulled over Lucas C. Declercq during a routine traffic stop in Woodstock. He was given a warning for an expired registration tag on his 2006 Chrysler and sent on his way. But sheriff’s deputies forgot to give Declercq, 33, his license back, so they paid him a visit at home to drop it off, Undersheriff Andy Zinke said.

Deputies reported an “overwhelming smell” of marijuana from the 1012 Castleshire Drive home in Woodstock.

“When they opened the door, they got blown over by the smell of cannabis,” Zinke said.

Declercq was not home, but a family member let deputies into the house, where they discovered a large marijuana grow operation, Zinke said. Declercq arrived shortly after and was arrested.

Forty-seven cannabis sativa plants were found growing in a basement closet and two storage rooms in the garage, police said. Deputies also seized lights and other equipment used to grow marijuana.

The street value of the seized drugs was estimated at $47,000, police said.

Declercq was charged with unlawful manufacture of marijuana, unlawful possession of marijuana, and unlawful manufacture of cannabis sativa plants. All are felonies.

Declercq posted 10 percent of his $20,000 bond Monday. He is scheduled to appear in court May 16.

The day before Declercq’s arrest, authorities said they seized about 100 marijuana sativa plants from a grow operation in Huntley, where three people were arrested.

While police were on the scene, the suspects tried to destroy the evidence by setting the plants on fire, Zinke said.

The deputies, who were responding to a tip, then smelled the drugs and obtained a search warrant for the home at 12509 Hensel Road.

“The suspects, in an attempt to hide the evidence, stuffed as many plants as they could in the fireplace and set it on fire,” Zinke said. “The smell [of marijuana] came out to the officers.”

Kristine M. Depew, 32, and Danny Depew, 40, both were charged with manufacturing marijuana, production of marijuana sativa plants, unlawful possession of marijuana, and obstruction of justice for destruction of evidence. All are felonies.

The Depews also were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.

Kristine Depew also was charged with resisting a peace officer, a misdemeanor. Her bond was set at $30,000, and Danny Depew’s bond was set at $40,000.

Mike A Mason, 39, of 209 S. Bartlett Road, Streamwood, also was charged with obstruction of a peace officer, a Class 4 felony. His bond was set at $15,000.

Police also seized lights other items to grow marijuana. The street value of the drugs is worth $100,000, police said.

All three posted 10 percent of their bond Monday, and are scheduled to appear in court May 23.

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