Two agencies, the State Line Area Narcotics Team and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, had been investigating a marijuana ring. Whoever had been manufacturing and distributing the drug were doing so by attracting people from Wisconsin, near the southeastern state border.
But last week, five individuals were arrested in connection with the marijuana operation. Officers had been investigating for the past four months, an investigation that culminated in a multi-city and multi-state raid. Not only are the five individuals facing drug charges, but several have also been charged with possession of a firearm without a proper owner ID.
Officers from nine different law enforcement departments and two different states participated in the raid. They confiscated a number of items, including:
- 160 cannabis plants
- 36 pounds of processed cannabis - officers stated that the drug was high-quality marijuana
- Seven weapons
- Over $27,000 in cash
Possessing, manufacturing and intending to distribute an illegal substance are serious charges. If convicted, the penalties can include a lengthy prison sentence and remain on one's record permanently. In addition, a conviction could make it more difficult for someone to find employment in the future or secure certain loans.
Drug crimes can also include operating a drug house or even just conspiring with others to commit a drug crime. In addition, law enforcement is also cracking down on prescription fraud.
At this point the investigation is not over. Even though officers have already arrested five people in connection to the cannabis operation, it appears they believe that there are more individuals involved who are still at large.
Source: Rockford Register Star online, "5 face drug charges after raids in Illinois, Wisconsin," Chris Green, 03 March 2011