A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to six months in DuPage County Jail, after being caught in a $1.2 million marijuana sting operation conducted last year by Naperville police.
Ronald C. Sanchez pleaded guilty in DuPage County Circuit Court to a felony charge of producing or possessing more than 200 marijuana plants, which police discovered during a search of his home on Chicago’s north side.
Separate, companion counts of the manufacture or delivery of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana and the manufacture or delivery of more than 30 but not more than 500 grams of marijuana were dismissed in exchange for Sanchez’s plea, according to court records.
Judge Daniel P. Guerin accepted the plea and sentenced Sanchez to 180 days in jail, records showed. Guerin placed a stay on the sentence, which means Sanchez will begin serving his term at a later date.
Guerin also ordered Sanchez to undergo narcotics abuse counseling and periodic drug testing, records indicated. He also placed Sanchez on two years of probation.
Additionally, Sanchez owes $3,992 in fines and court costs, according to records.
Sanchez was arrested at 4:07 p.m. Oct. 25 on the 1400 block of Freedom Drive, just south of Interstate 88 on Naperville’s far northeast side.
Sgt. Lou Cammiso said undercover members of the Naperville Police Department’s Special Operations Group had bought marijuana from Sanchez on several, prior occasions. Sanchez was arrested at the scene.
Investigators then obtained a search warrant and went to Sanchez’s home on the 3200 block of North Oleander Avenue in Chicago.
“Upon entering the residence, a sophisticated cannabis grow operation was discovered,” which included more than 300 mature marijuana plants and several large, plastic bins filled with processed marijuana, police Cmdr. Brian Cunningham said last fall. He said the marijuana had an estimated street sale value of $1,197,800.
Sanchez’s arrest came two days after police arrested two men from Iowa near North Aurora Road and Route 59. They are awaiting trial for allegedly transporting 19 pounds of methamphetamine valued at nearly $1 million.
Sanchez also listed an address in Morton Grove. He had no prior criminal record in DuPage, Kane and Will counties.