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Tinley Park Pot Bust: Family Angry At Cops For Ruining 'Designer Marijuana' Operation

First Posted: 12/17/10 10:51 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:20 PM ET

Grow House
Some of the plants recovered from the Tinley Park grow operation.

A Tinley Park family busted for running a $1 million marijuana grow operation in their suburban home is furious with the Cook County Sheriff's police department for leaving their place in shambles.

This week, police entered the 7,000-square-foot home of John Gecan and his wife, Darlene Gecan after interdicting a package containing cannabis buds addressed to the couple's home, according to the Cook County Sheriff's department. Tinley Park is about 25 miles south of Chicago.

The couple, along with their son Christopher Gecan, 27 and his cousin James Osmolski, 22, was arrested after police found an elaborate "designer marijuana" grow operation in the home. Officers recovered 97 marijuana plants, 2,960 grams of marijuana and a small amount of cocaine. The estimated street value of the drugs is $1,043,000.

The family was taken into custody and charged with multiple counts of production of cannabis, and possession of cannabis with intent to deliver. But, they posted bond--and were not happy when they left jail and found their home destroyed by police.

"You can't come into somebody's home and do that," John Gecan told NBC Chicago, pointing to belongings strewn about the room. "It doesn't matter what they found."

Police say the family "cultivated an unusually high-quality product" due to a very elaborate set up. From the Cook County Sheriff's Office:

A large section of the home's basement accommodated the grow operation, and blended into the rest of the home. A dummy wall concealed several rooms designated for the different stages of cannabis cultivation, all retrofitted with insulation, automatic temperature control, dehumidifiers and elaborate ventilation system with air filtration. As a result of the Gecan's careful cultivation, some of their cannabis plants were six feet tall.

Darlene Gecan told NBC Chicago the family began growing marijuana due to the bad economy.

"The real estate taxes went up four grand," she told the station. "My sons are unemployed, they can't find jobs."

Aside from being angry over the state of his home, John Gecan said police were incorrect in their estimate of the pot's value.

"There's not a million dollars worth of pot," Gecan said. "I'd like to have that money. I'd be living in Mexico right now."

WATCH the family react to the pot bust here:

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.


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Filed by Jen Sabella  |