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Chicago man sentenced to 4 years for Joliet grow houses

Sinh T. Dinh

Sinh T. Dinh

A 51-year-old Chicago man accused of operating two multi-million dollar marijuana grow houses in Joliet was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday.

Sinh T. Dinh of the 6000 block of North Winchester had pleaded guilty January 30 to unlawful manufacture of cannabis as part of a deal that dismissed the original charge of manufacturing/delivering more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, a Class X felony with a sentencing range of 6 to 30 years.

Dinh was taken into custody May 16, 2011 at a home on the 3500 block of Indian Head Lane after the Will County Gang Crimes Unit obtained a search warrant.

Will County Sheriff’s Police spokesman Kathy Hoffmeyer said the unit also arrested Ha T. Pham, 44, 5300 block of West Winona Street in Chicago as she was leaving the house.

Pham also was charged with manufacturing/delivering more than 5,000 grams of cannabis but received a 24-month suspended sentence in December 2011 after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of producing 50-200 cannabis plants.

Hoffmeyer said the officers, who arrested Dinh after forcibly entering the residence, found 268 potted cannabis plants in the basement, 272 potted cannabis plants in a bedroom, approximately 9,400 grams of cannabis on the basement floor, 170 grams of cannabis on the kitchen floor, 35 electric grow lights and cash.

Hoffmeyer said the house on Indian Head Lane had no indications of habitation, other than a single mattress on the floor, and no food or clothing. The electric meter had been tampered with to under-report the amount of electricity used, she said.

In a related action, Cook County Sheriff’s Police seized more than 500 marijuana plants from a house on the 4700 block of West Mallard Lane, bringing the total value at the two houses to more than $5 million.

That agency, in a prepared statement coinciding with the arrests of Dinh and Pham, said the houses had been specifically adapted to cultivate cannabis, with marijuana plants growing in the basement and venting that ran through the floor boards and chimneys.

Cook County Sheriff’s Police said the Joliet grow houses were identified in the course of drug raids by its South Narcotics Unit.

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