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Vacant house in Sycamore has pot growing operation

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:18 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 11:52 p.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – Police seized more than 100 marijuana plants Tuesday growing in the basement of an unoccupied home in the 900 block of Wells Drive, Sycamore Police Lt. Darrell Johnson said.

Johnson said this was the biggest growing operation Sycamore police have discovered in recent history.

"We're talking all stages of the growing cycle, from small to mature," Johnson said of Tuesday's seizure. "Along with that, [we found] a significant amount of the equipment to operate one of these grows."

Police had not identified a suspect but were continuing their investigation, Johnson said. They were still cataloging the items seized, and did not have a final count of how many plants were found.

A service company hired by the bank interested in the foreclosed home called police about 9 a.m. Tuesday after noticing something suspicious, Johnson said. Police swept the home, which is off Mount Hunger Road east of North Main Street, for possible dangers and then obtained a search warrant.

Sycamore patrol officers, detectives and DeKalb County sheriff's deputies spent about six hours removing the plants, as well as the growing equipment, Johnson said.

"Other than that, the house appeared somewhat vacant," Johnson said.

Police found no weapons or signs of forced entry in the house.

Johnson did not know how long the house had been empty.

The latest find came almost a month after police said they removed 17 marijuana plants from a home in the 2100 block of Highland Drive in Sycamore.

In connection with that incident, Daniel Riebeling, 35, who lived in the house, was charged April 12 with possession of marijuana plants, a Class 4 felony typically punishable by up to 3 years in prison. He is next due in DeKalb County court May 21.

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