Sophisticated marijuana operation busted near Alton grade school

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by Lauren Trager -- News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on October 23, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 10:29 AM

 (KMOV) -- Close to 70 marijuana plants were taken out of a home in the Metro East and a school sits right across the street.

Police made the bust at a home on Coronado Drive in Alton which is directly across from Saint Mary’s Middle School.     

Nearly 70 plants along with lights and irrigation systems were taken from the home.

“It was a sophisticated operation,” said Officer Emily Hejna, the public information officer for Alton Police.

But while the operation itself is worrisome, police say this home’s location makes it much worse.

“Any time we have plants being grown in a neighborhood it’s a concern, but directly across from a school where children are present everyday is a huge concern for the Alton Police Department,” Officer Heyna said.

That’s why officers say they were so grateful for the anonymous tip that led them to the home.

“We want them to take action because you can see the results of them being involved in their own community,” said Dan Herkert with the City of Alton.

A tip, police say, saves taxpayers’ money and their manpower on what could have been a lengthy stake-out investigation.

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“I’m glad they got them off the street,” said Danielle Scheffel, a neighbor. Scheffel said she had noticed the smell.

“It was very, very potent,” Scheffel said.

But sha says had no clue what was really behind these walls. “Just crazy, you don’t think this could ever happen in your neighborhood,” she said.

Now, neighbors are just glad it’s gone. The suspects have so far not been arrested. They could face additional charges because they are so close to the school.

The Alton Nuisance Abatement Task Force conducted the investigation. 

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