RACINE COUNTY -- A Racine County tip led deputies to a marijuana grow operation, and landed a 34-year-old man from Yorkville behind bars. But the drugs aren't the only reason why.
In rural Racine County of 50th Road in the Town of Yorkville. authorities say a red barn covered up secrets.
"Very, very disturbing," said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling.
Tips led the Racine County Metro Drug Unit to the property on Thursday, May 12th.
"This was a grow operation. A very sophisticated grow operation that was occurring underneath our nose in our backyard in the Town of Yorkville," said Schmaling.
Instigators found a hydroponic grow consisting of 38 live marijuana plants, and clones that can be used to grow more.
According to the Racine Co. Sheriff’s Office, a marijuana plant clone is a small trimming from another marijuana plant used to begin growing a new plant. The plant used to cut these clones from is often referred to as the mother plant. Hydroponic growing allows the plants a continuous supply of water and liquid fertilizer.
Authorities say 34-year-old Craig Klein was behind it all.
According to a criminal complaint, Klein denied he was selling the drugs -- instead keeping it for personal use. But deputies say he had at least five customers.
"This was one of many tips Racine County receives, one that we acted on and one that proved to be fruitful," said Schmaling.
During the search 221 grams of marijuana plant seeds were also located, along with various drug paraphernalia. An average marijuana plant can produce approximately one pound of finished product. The street value of a pound of marijuana varies dependent upon the quality or potency but can range from $1000 – $5000 per pound.
Klein faces charges related to drug crimes but has also been charged with child endangerment.
"There was also a child, a relative of the family, to be allowed in that barn from time to time. Actually sleep in the barn as well," said Schmaling.
The Racine County sheriff says this isn't the biggest bust, but one proving tips make a difference and criminals will be caught.
"It's important we take hold of these types of things and we arrest those who are responsible. Especially when there's children around, that really makes things despicable in my opinion," said Schmaling.
Klein is being held at the Racine County jail on the following charges:
- Manufacture T.H.C.
- Possession of T.H.C. as a repeat drug offender
- Keeper of a drug place for manufacture
- 2nd degree reckless endangerment (Due to a small child residing at the residence)
- Possession of drug paraphernalia