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'Exotic' Pot Operation Valued at $500K Busted by CPD

By Adeshina Emmanuel | October 19, 2012 11:32am

IRVING PARK—A Northwest Side man faces felony charges after authorities busted a high-end pot operation in the Irving Park neighborhood and found more than 100 marijuana plants, thousands of dollars and two illegal firearms in his possession, police said.

The Chicago Police Department's gang unit was tipped about the operation, housed in a facility in the 3900 block of North Elston Avenue. Paul Sherman, 50, allegedly ran "an exotic hydroponics operation," police said in a release.

Officers entered the facility with a search warrant Wednesday and arrested Sherman without incident, police said. CBS Chicago reported that police were observed outside the scene around 9 p.m. loading the illegal plants into a truck and hauling them away.

The plants recovered weighed more than 5,000 pounds and had a street value topping $500,000, according to police. 

Aside from pounds of pot, authorities also found $30,000 and two firearms after searching a safe in the facility, police said.

Sherman, who lives on the same block of North Elston Avenue, is being charged with one felony count of manufacturing marijuana, and weapons violations, according to police.

A police release was unclear whether the alleged pot factory was also Sherman's home, although reports from the Chicago Tribune and CBS said he lived there.