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Will DEA Stakeouts Put Crest Hill Indoor Garden Center Out Of Business? Owner Thinks So

The owner of an indoor garden center staked out by a DEA agent considers himself a casualty in the war on drugs.

Will DEA Stakeouts Put Crest Hill Indoor Garden Center Out Of Business? Owner Thinks So Will DEA Stakeouts Put Crest Hill Indoor Garden Center Out Of Business? Owner Thinks So
Revelations that the DEA picked targets for criminal investigations by staking out a Crest Hill indoor garden center has the shop owner convinced his business is ruined.

"Who's the only one who got hurt? Me," said the owner of Midwest Hydroganics on Renwick Road.

The owner declined to give his name but Crest Hill lists the registered owner as Joseph Vota.

The man at the Midwest Hydroganics counter Tuesday said he has owned the business for 10 years but will likely have to close now that news broke about the DEA surveilling his store.

According to court papers obtained by Patch, a Channahon man and a Shorewood woman were arrested after separate investigations that began after a DEA agent spotted them shopping at Midwest Hydroganics. The Channahon man ended up pleading guilty to a felony. The Shorewood woman is still fighting the misdemeanor charge.

The misdemeanor was brought against 46-year-old Angela Kirking after  she and her pet terrier woke to find four flak-jacketed DEA agents and five Shorewood cops in the bedroom of her Ranchwood Drive home at 5 a.m. Oct. 11, she said. At least one of the agents held her at gunpoint before they searched her home and allegedly found nine grams of marijuana, Kirking said.

Kirking's attorney, Jeff Tomczak, has challenged the legitimacy of the search warrant used to gain entry to her home.

In his complaint for the warrant to search Kirking's home, a DEA agent claimed he "previously conducted numerous investigations that involved the surveillance of Midwest Hydroganics" and those probes led to drug arrests.

Tomczak maintains that is not sufficient grounds to get a search warrant.

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