News
News

Cops seize pot plants near Bishop Ford: 'Big as Christmas trees'

Cook County sheriff's deputy Ed Graney was on routine helicopter patrol when he noticed towering lime green plants amid the dark weeds along the Bishop Ford Expressway.

They were marijuana plants, row after row over an area the size of two football fields near Stoney Island Avenue and 105th Street.

"We had the right altitude and the right angle, the right sunlight and happened to be glancing down," said Graney, a tactical flight officer for the sheriff's department.

He and the helicopter pilot, Chicago police officer Stanley Kuprianczyk, spotted the pot around noon Tuesday and narcotics officers moved in to secure the area.

"The plants are pretty big. They're as big as Christmas trees," Chicago police Lt. Michael Ryle said. "Some of the plants are as tall as 10 feet tall."

There was also a makeshift "watchman" area where the still at-large growers could keep an eye out for trespassers, Ryle said.

The growing area is "very secluded, very difficult to see from anywhere but the air," Ryle said. "You can't smell it from here, but the smell is very intense once you're inside.

"There's some evidence in there of like a camp, where there's been a watchman. . .or a guard sitting on it."

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said it's unclear who owns the land.

"The brazenness of it is. . .people will do whatever they can to make their money," McCarthy said. "I think that spending that much time and effort setting up an operation like this in a place like Chicago, it is brazen."

WGN-TV contributed.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Pilots discover pot

    Pilots discover pot

    Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, left, police helicopter pilot Stanley Kuprianczyk, center, and Cook County Sheriffs Police Officer Edward Graney talk about the pot farm discovery.

  • Marijuana crop

    Marijuana crop

    Chicago Police investigate marijuana plants filling two football fields of land near 107th and Stony Island in Chicago.

  • South Side pot bust

    South Side pot bust

    Chicago police at the scene of a clandestine outdoor marijuana-growing operation near the Bishop Ford Freeway on the city's South Side.

  • Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    One day down! Here’s the best and worst we saw at Lolla on Friday, plus a few superlatives from day 1. Best: Anyone who knows me knows I was bound to pick Paul McCartney as my favorite act of the day. The Beatle came out and gave it his all with more than two hours of hits, tributes and jokes about...

  • Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    What can you really say about Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, pop music pioneer, worldwide cultural icon, and all-around great guy, that hasn't already been said? I mean, seriously. With the Beatles changing music for the better, becoming a pop culture institution and being "more popular...

  • Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Chicago's ban on plastic bags starts to take effect at many big stores Saturday, but an alderman who helped craft the law already is talking about changing it in order to thwart a few large retail chains that he says are trying to skirt the new rules.

  • State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    A man was shot multiple times while traveling in a minivan on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday morning, authorities said.

  • Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    It may sound like an urban legend: Music festival-goers bury bottles of booze in Chicago parks, plot a GPS location for the goods and uncover them days later when the festival comes alive.

Comments
Loading
83°