For the third time in as many weeks, police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents busted an alleged local marijuana-dealing operation, this time in Joliet.
Plainfield police arrested Randy Mota, 28, and Nicole Mota, 26, following a Tuesday raid at their 6512 Roth Drive home, and recovered 71 cannabis plants and 18 pounds of loose cannabis, Plainfield Sgt. Mike Fisher said.
The drugs have a street value of more than $250,000, he said.
Fisher said a Plainfield officer who works with the Chicago branch of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency helped uncover the operation.
The Joliet Police Department participated in the raid, but served only as backup for the DEA and Plainfield police, Joliet Cmdr. Rich Demick said. Because it was not a Joliet case, Demick declined to discuss the specifics of the case.
Randy Mota is charged with producing 50 to 200 cannabis plants, manufacture/delivery of 500 to 2,000 grams of cannabis, possession of 2,000 to 5,000 grams of cannabis and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to jail records.
Nicole Mota is charged with possession of 30 to 500 grams of cannabis.
Both were being held at the Will County jail Tuesday and were due in court Wednesday afternoon.
Third local pot bust
The Tuesday morning raid came two weeks after another pair of marijuana busts.
On Jan. 29, Plainfield police and DEA agents seized nearly 120 marijuana plants, some as big as four feet tall, plus 65 pounds of loose marijuana and dozens of ecstasy pills from a home at 12914 Tipperary Lane.
Quy Doan, 30, of Romeoville, was arrested and charged with numerous felonies in connection with what police called a “million-dollar operation.”
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That same day, the Will County Gang Suppression Unit arrested brothers Oudam Thou, 26, and Robert Thou, 22, following a search of their home in the 1900 block of Hampton Court in Plainfield Township.
Police seized thousands of grams of cannabis and synthetic cannabis in the raid, along with two semi-automatic weapons.
Plainfield police said there was no indication that the Tipperary Lane grow house was connected to the Hampton Court case.
In another marijuana-related incident — which police said was unrelated to the larger pot-dealing operations — a man was arrested after being caught with pot and a handgun on the same street as the grow house.
The man, who shares a last name with the Joliet suspects, was arrested Feb. 3 after a neighbor called police about a suspicious vehicle on Tipperary Lane.
Police said Erik Mota, 30, of Chicago, was in the backseat of a Chevy Tahoe with a woman who lived in the neighborhood. A search of the vehicle turned up a canister of marijuana and a Glock handgun, according to police.
Mota was charged with manufacture/delivery of 30 to 500 grams of cannabis and unlawful possession of a handgun. Though he tried to blame the woman, saying the handgun was hers, she was released without charges, police said.
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