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Article updated: 10/30/2012 6:12 PM

Cops bust indoor pot growing operation near Elgin

Justin B. Brooks

Justin B. Brooks

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Authorities have busted an indoor marijuana growing operation near Elgin, seizing 77 plants worth a total of $154,000, according to police and court records.

Justin Brooks, 54, of the 9N700 block of Whispering Springs Lane, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of felony production of between 50 and 200 marijuana plants, according to court records.


Brooks was arrested earlier this month after an investigation by the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is a division of the Illinois State Police.

Lt. Bill Backus, the task force's executive director, said authorities received information that Brooks was growing marijuana.

"It was a multistage indoor cannabis grown operation in his basement, we're alleging," Backus said. "We had information he was involved in cannabis production. Some were seedlings, some were larger. It was an ongoing operation."

Each plant was valued at $2,000 and authorities said the plants were in different stages of cultivation.

"They were some quality cannabis plants, I would say that much," Backus said. "It certainly was not low-quality marijuana."

Backus also said that authorities seized drug paraphernalia, scales and other packaging material from Brooks' home.

He is free after posting $10,000 bail and is next due in court on Dec. 14.

A message left with Brooks' defense attorney, James Tatooles, was not returned.

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