A 22-year-old Aurora man was arrested over the weekend after he started bonfires in his backyard to protect marijuana plants against an overnight frost, police said.
Daniel A. Selmon, of the 800 block of Robert Street, has been charged with felony cannabis possession, along with misdemeanor cannabis cultivation, according to police and court records.
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Aurora Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said that an officer on routine patrol at 2:46 a.m. Saturday saw two large bonfires in the backyard of Selmon's home.
"When the officer went to investigate, he observed what appeared to be three large marijuana plants growing in a corner of the backyard. Upon investigation, it was learned that Selmon allegedly set the bonfires in an attempt to keep the marijuana plants warm due to the cold weather," Ferrelli said.
Ferrelli said officers seized the plants, which weighed about 6.5 pounds, or 2,948 grams. The street value of the marijuana was not available.
Selmon is the second person in the Kane County area to be arrested in recent weeks and charged with growing marijuana in the rear yard of a home. A 49-year-old man was arrested Sept. 21 and accused of growing between 50 and 200 plants in the backyard of his home near South Elgin.
Selmon is next due in court Oct. 18. If convicted he faces up to seven years in prison on the most severe felony charge, although probation is an option.
He does not have a previous criminal record in Kane County and was being held on $30,000 bond, meaning he must pay $3,000 to be free while his case is pending.