LIBRARIAN, TEACHER BUSTED FOR MARIJUANA OPERATION
Monday, Febuary 22, 2010 — Bond was set today for a Chicago couple arrested in a weekend drug investigation that netted almost a quarter-million dollars worth of marijuana, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said Monday.
Heidi Keller, 47, and Adrian Ortiz, 45, were arrested at their Bridgeport home Friday night. They are accused of running a drug operation based at a grow house located in the South Deering neighborhood. The drugs seized had an estimated street value of $234,000.
Cook County Sheriff’s Police officers spent three months investigating the couple, who purchased a home at 10003 S. Exchange St. in October. They said it was an investment property, but police found no evidence it was being used for anything other than a marijuana growing operation.
When officers entered the front door of that single-family home, the smell of marijuana permeated the house. In the basement, they found eight irrigation tables with 186 marijuana plants. A complicated lighting system with high-wattage lamps were set to a timer, ensuring each of the plants was exposed to a sufficient amount of lighting. Additionally, high-flowing water pumps were set up to irrigate the plants. Those pumps were also set to timers.
Keller told investigators she is a librarian at Haines Elementary, 247 W. 23rd Place in Chicago. Oritz identified himself as a lecturer in English at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Members of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police narcotics task force, which includes sheriff’s police as well as officers from Calumet City and South Chicago Heights, participated in the Friday night raid at 10003 S. Exchange St. and the arrest at a condo building at 3500 S. Sangamon St.
Bond for Keller was set at $20,000. Her next court hearing is set for March 19. Bond for Ortiz was set at $30,000. He is set to appear in court Feb. 24.