Why is Barrington Hills, Illinios a preferred marijuana grow site?

In Illinois today the average marijuana price per ounce for high quality is $402.16 ($600 in Chicago); $292.57 for medium quality; and $20.24 for low quality.


A visit to Barrington Hills Illinois will show it is an upscale community with quiet, winding roads and grand mansions that dot its rustic, natural landscape.  

Barrington Hills, Illinois gained national recognition as home to the Cook County Crabtree Nature Preserve, where at least 30,000 plants were in 11 separate fields, worth up to $30 million were discovered growing just yards from busy roads and a few hundred yards from the Barrington Hills Police Station.   

Cook County Forest Preserve Police Chief Richard Waszak called this marijuana cultivating operation the most sophisticated operation he had ever seen, one that wasn't merely a locally grown illegal enterprise for private use.  

The Crabtree Nature Preserve "Discovery" was reported as the largest marijuana growing operation ever uncovered in America in 2007, and still is.  

Regarding this "Discovery", Chief  Waszak described it as anything but a fly-by-the night-operation, that it must have taken a lot of work to set the 'grow' up. 

Regarding the two workers found tending the fields who were arrested and later sentenced to two years, Waszak thought it likely that the two men, Rangel and Verra, were just two of many field workers involved with the hidden fields who must have been in place for a long time.  http://www.marijuana.com/threads/cops-seize-30-000-plants-near-my-town.211836/  

Barrington Hills, with Crabtree Forest Preserve's location within its zip code, is considered a very wealthy residential village, easily verified. 

Why was the Crabtree Forest Preserve in Barrington Hills chosen for such a massive 'grow' operation, and why would drug cartels set up a very large marijuana growing operation without fear of being detected?

One factor in the drug cartel's selection of the Barrington Hills Crabtree site is its proximity to Chicago which serves as the base for distributing marijuana across the Midwest.   

A 2008 article indicated that because of the tightening of the U.S.-Mexico border, law enforcement is seeing more locally grown marijuana using America's public lands.   

District Police Chief Richard Waszak (in 2008), stated that there has been an increase in marijuana farming operations in recent years in the 640,000 acres of the Cook County Forest Preserve District.   

Public land is being used to set up marijuana growing operators to avoid having private property seized if crops are spotted by investigators. 

It is most unusual that no guns were mentioned in the Crabtree Nature Preserve operation marijuana discovery, as criminal activity and drugs often go hand in hand. Many times the crops are watched by armed guards to protect other dope dealers who steal crops, know as "patch pilots."   http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/8925574#8925574 

What makes the risk of discovery, arrest, and time spent in prison a worthwhile risk with Mexican drug cartels who set up pot grow fields in national parks and public lands?  Might money enter into the mix?    A google of "marijuana found growing on pubic lands," located many references to pot growing sites in pubic parks and on public land during this current year.    https://www.google.com/search?q=2012%2C+Marijuana+found+growing+on+public+lands&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox- 

More than 550,000 marijuana plants, with an estimated street value of $1 billion, were seized during an eight-week crackdown this summer when targeting illegal marijuana growing operations on public lands across seven Western states.  Pot farms were also uprooted in several national parks, including Death Valley, and in Sequoia and Mendocino National Forests.   According to DEA Administrator Michele M. Leohart, “Marijuana trafficking organizations seek to turn our nation’s parks and public lands into their own drug havens."  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/1-billion-in-pot-uprooted-from-public-lands-in-california-wesPot  

Price per marijuana plant varies.  On August 22 of this year, 30 newly flowering pot plants were found growing in an Indiana corn field with an estimated worth of $30,000 or $1,000 per plant.  http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-08-22/marijuana-plants-drought/57203590/1

Sheriff Lt. Hank Turner of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department gives the value per plant as $3,000, "whether it is young or old, cultivated by an experienced grower or a first-time." 

Sheriff Turner further admits that although the across-the-board, per-plant value estimate may not be precise in every cultivation scenario, it produces a reliable frame of reference for the public as to the overall size of the marijuana market each year in San Diego County."  http://weedtracker.com/cannabis/topic/285584-how-much-is-a-cannabis-plant-worth-san-diego-says-3000/

Regarding the street value of marijuana, a 2012 CA Department of Alcohol and Drugs report cites the average cost for one ounce of marijuana in California as between 250-400.  Cost be be considerable lower or higher and varies for many reasons including quality, potency, availability, geographic location, or method of growth.  http://www.adp.cahwnet.gov/marijuana/WhatisMJ.shtml

In Illinois the average marijuana price per ounce for high quality is $402.16; $292.57 for medium quality; and $20.24 for low quality, while in Chicago high quality marijuana per ounce goes for $600.  http://www.priceofweek.com/

With this in mind, why a drug cartel was willing to take the risk to grow pot in Crabtree Nature Preserve becomes obvious.    First of all, there is little risk! 

Aren't you puzzled that it is a fact that Federal and the State of Illinois and Cook County and Barrington Hills Law Enforcement never caught even one drug king pin after the Crabtree Nature Preserve Bust, the Largest Marijuana Operation in America ?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Me October 22, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Legalize and tax. Prohibition is a failed policy.
Mrs. H October 23, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Who cares. The 'weed' can be grown anywhere, hence the name. I'm w/ the previous comment, legalize it & that $$ will provide help in needed areas. Alcohol does more damage than 'weed.'
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