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Police raid grow house

150 grams of marijuana, 159 plants seized

January 13, 2010 | 10:01 AM
Linn — Police busted an alleged marijuana growing operation Friday morning in a township subdivision.

At about 9 a.m., the Walworth County Drug Enforcement Unit executed search warrants at two homes on Geneva Avenue with the help of Linn, Walworth and Fontana police.

Fred G. Rickel, 43, N1510 Geneva Ave., was taken to Walworth County Jail on charges of manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Walworth County Sheriff's Department.

The paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor. The two other charges are felonies.

Those same felony and misdemeanor charges have been referred to the County District Attorney's Office against Fred's wife, Amy, 39.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Fred Rickel was due to appear in Walworth County Circuit Court.

On Monday, he was being held in jail on a $20,000 cash bond and was ordered to not have contact with Amy Rickel.

In total, authorities seized 159 marijuana plants, 150 grams of processed marijuana and other items.

"For an indoor (operation), I'd say it was probably average," said Sgt. Jeff Patek, of the Drug Unit, Monday afternoon.

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According to the Sheriff's Department, the search warrants were executed at N1510 and N1518 Geneva Ave.

Patek said the Rickels live at N1510 Geneva Ave. He said they rented the residence at N1518 Geneva Ave.

Police seized the plants from three different rooms at N1518 Geneva Ave.

"They were actually rooms that looked like they were set up for the growing of marijuana," Patek said.

Also at that residence, police seized the processed marijuana, two scales, two computers and packaging materials.

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Patek said he has been served on the Drug Unit for about 10 years, and while processing the scene, he and other officers had to do something he'd never had to do before.

"We had to wear respirators, the kind you'd wear if you're doing drywall ... because of mold," he said about the house at N1518 Geneva Ave. "There was a lot of mold and plus there were spores (from) the marijuana plants."

Police also seized $2,070 in cash, a 2002 Ford Explorer, drug paraphernalia and assorted documents at N1510 Geneva Ave.

Patek said the documents included bills and information about growing marijuana.

According to Patek, the Drug Unit began investigating the operation after it received an anonymous tip about four or five months ago. Patek said the investigation still is ongoing, and he's not sure if it will yield more charges.

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Walworth County