It took a crew of 20 men and more than eight hours to break down what police called an “extensive,” million-dollar marijuana grow operation at a house in Plainfield’s King’s Crossing subdivision Tuesday.
In the end, Plainfield police and Drug Enforcement Administration agents seized 118 marijuana plants — some three to four feet tall — plus 65 pounds of loose marijuana and 178 ecstasy pills from the home at 12914 Tipperary Ln., according to Plainfield Sgt. Mike Fisher.
Those numbers were higher than the initial report released Wednesday by police, who searched the home, believed to be a marijuana greenhouse operated by 30-year-old Quy Doan, for hours.
“I think we were there until 2 a.m. [Wednesday],” Fisher said. “He just had thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of equipment,” Fisher added.
Doan also may have had help.
“It’s hard to have an operation that big on your own, so it is an ongoing investigation,” Fisher said.
Police and DEA agents conducted a search of the Tipperary Lane house while Doan was being detained during a traffic stop shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“We had surveillance on him,” Fisher said. “As he was leaving the neighborhood, I stopped him to detain him.”
Meanwhile, police and agents descended on the home, uncovering drugs with an estimated street value of more than $500,000, not to mention an elaborate growing system.
“The whole house was reconstructed,” Fisher said. “The master bedroom had another room inside of it just for sun lamps.”
Plumbing for the grow operation’s water system ran through the entire house, and Fisher said Doan had tunneled through the foundation to tap into electricity before it reached the meter, so that the operation’s massive power usage wouldn’t draw notice — or rack up a huge electric bill.
“I’ve seen it attempted before, but it is extremely dangerous,” Fisher said of the tactic.
Police said it took hours to dismantle the pot greenhouse and load up all the evidence, from heat lamps to commercial dehumidifier units and air conditioning units.
“That’s six hours with probably 20 guys loading trailers with equipment,” to give an idea of the operation’s scale, Fisher said. “[Doan] had to have help.”
While Doan ran his marijuana-growing operation out of the Plainfield home, police said, jail records list his address as 298 Zinnia Dr., Romeoville.
Police don’t believe drugs were being sold out of the Tipperary Lane house.
“This was strictly a grow house,” Fisher said. “There’s no indication they were making sales out of this house.”
Fisher credited a Plainfield officer who works closely with the DEA’s Chicago team with uncovering the massive grow operation.
“We went from knowing nothing about it to serving a warrant on a major grow house thanks to his hard work,” Fisher said.
Doan is charged with manufacture/delivery of 50-200 grams of schedule I and II substances, producing 50-200 cannabis plants, manufacture/delivery of more than 500 grams of cannabis, possession of 2,000-5,000 grams of cannabis and possession of a controlled substance — all felonies.
According jail records, Doan was still in custody at the Will County Adult Detention Center on Thursday. Bond information was not immediately available.
Police said there is also no indication that the Tipperary Lane grow house has any connection to another Tuesday night drug bust.
Brothers Oudam and Robert Thou were arrested on felony charges after Will County’s Gang Suppression Unit seized more than 8,400 grams of marijuana and 1,500 grams of suspected synthetic marijuana from a home in the 1900 block of Hampton Court in Plainfield Township, police said.
Also seized in the Hampton Court raid were two semi-automatic handguns, $700 in cash and a 2007 Lexus, according to police.