Owner, Employee of Big Grow Hydroponics Arrested for Delivery of Marijuana

Big Grow owner Michael J. Singley, 40, and his employee John E. Czaplicki, 22, were arrested Monday after McHenry County Sheriff's deputies acted on a tip the men were selling cannabis.

An owner and one employee of Big Grow Hydroponics in Lake in the Hills were arrested on Monday and are accused of selling marijuana, according to the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.

Michael J. Singley, 40, of Rockton was arrested and charged with one count of unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, one count possession of cannabis and one count of  unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff's office news release.  

Singley is an owner of Big Grow Hydroponics, 9225 Trinity Unit B and C, in Lake in the Hills, sheriff police said. 

Big Grow employee John E. Czaplicki, 22, of Gurnee also was arrested and charged with one count of unlawful delivery of cannabis and one count unlawful possession of cannabis, sheriff police said.

Big Grow Hydroponics sells hydroponic growing systems as well as products meant for indoor growing and other gardening needs, according to Big Grow's website. 

Acting on a tip, sheriff deputies investigated reports that marijuana was being sold by employees of Big Grow Hydroponics. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search Monday of the business, which is located just west of Route 31. The Lake in the Hills Police Department assisted in the search. 

At the conclusion of the search warrant, the two employees were arrested for cannabis-related drug charges.

Deputies also seized $1,615; a Scion Tc vehicle; about 1,200 grams of cannabis; one digital scale, packaging materials; and multiple items of drug paraphernalia, police said. 

The street value of the cannabis is estimated at about $11,000, sheriff police said.

Bond for Czaplicki was set at $50,000, and he is scheduled to next appear in court at 9 a.m. Nov. 29. Singley's bail was set at $20,000, and he is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Nov. 28.

“Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is asked to call your local law enforcement agency or the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office at 815-338-2144," Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said in the press release. 

Anonymous November 23, 2012 at 06:41 AM
I was recently charged with possession of marijuana, possession of canabis sativa plants, manufacturing and what ever else Mchenry county sheriffs could throw at me. They said they had a report that I was growing marijuana. I never believed it. And it just so happens all the gardening supplies were bought at Big Grow Hydro in Lake In The Hills. It is all making sense how they busted me now. I kept telling my lawyer that is how they caught me. But he insisted they didn't because it is illegal for them to watch a business. Maybe now when I call him Monday and tell him about this he will believe me. I to have never harmed anyone or sold drugs to kids or anything close to that. But they act like growing pot is like selling crack. I am being charged with 4 felonies and 3 misdaminers. I go to work every day to support my family. And due to the fact that they want treat marijuana like its a killer drug. If convicted I will lose my job and struggle to find a new one. I will have no means to support my family. When will they wake up and see they are destroying lives over a weed. I have seen the affects of a horrible drug. It's called alcohol but its legal so it's ok. Another top killer tabaco but that ones legal too so it's ok. I pray my lawyer uses this new info to totally scre the Mchenry county sheriff.
jeff November 23, 2012 at 07:41 AM
What was there probable cause? Hearsay doesn't stand up in court. It may get dismissed. If this is a first offense you won't do any time highly doubtful. If your lawyer sucks call Mahoney in Dundee.
FlyingTooLow November 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM
@ Anonymous... I hope that you research 'jury nullification.' I wish you and your family the very best.
Anonymous November 24, 2012 at 12:07 AM
@ Jeff they said they had a report that I was growing. I wasn't home at the time and they scared someone to let them in the house. There were very few people that knew of what was going on. People that would of never ratted me out. So until now how they caught me has been a mystery. Until now. If anybody else has been busted with no reason as to why and shopped at Big Grow. We need to get together because if that's how they are busting people it is illegal. So please post here if this has happened to you too.
Rob November 25, 2012 at 02:40 PM
2 lbs of weed, some of that was making it's way to the local HS. Illegal is illegal, until you get the laws changed, it is what it is. I do agree the punishments for weed are out of whack, but the problem with distributing will always be that you can't control who the end users are. Grow it yourself, for your own use and chances are you won't have any issues. When you start selling it, whether it's a non harmful drug or not (in your opinion), it lands in the hands of kids and becomes a gateway drug. It does more harm indirectly than we can could ever measure.
Maggie November 25, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Rob, I understand your reasoning but when you say gateway drug are you saying that anyone who smokes pot will do hard drugs? Or are you saying that whomever sells pot will sell hard drugs? For kids I believe the search for pot holds a mystique a forbidden fruit. That is the draw. Kids by nature rebel it's in their blood and their going to try anything that they aren't suppose to. If their parents say it's red then it's green. Don't you think if you were to take away that mystique take away the challege to go where the "man" says you can't, don't you think it would eliminate the desire for most? If it takes you out of your head and you should do something stupid then you will HAVE to suffer the consequences for that stupidity. CONTROL is the action that is keeping it alive. No one likes to be controled and it is in our general nature to rebel against it and thank god for it. The largest problem we face is not the pot, it's the pharmacy drugs. I haven't worked in an office yet where they didn't cause problems and they are rampant. These people can't function, it's a feel good pill for every aspect of their life and the more they take, the more they take.
Maggie November 25, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Mothers on welfare, what is done, we keep paying for thier habits they still get welfare. People who beat up on other people, get warnings. People who steal get thrown into jail where it's easier to get drugs and we pay to feed and cloth and entertain them, they're just kept from the rest of us.. CONTROL it is a defeating action because one day you lose it and what are you left with? Exactly what we have,.a society that glorifies it and a government that punishes and destroys lives for the least offense. It has become a revenue generater for many avenues and that my friend is hard to overcome. Not the brain melting aspects of it but the money aspects of it. Personally I think the leason begins at home with honesty and trust in the people you value to make the right decisions. Any more than that and you are nothing but the keeper of the cage and the occupant nothing more than an object of ownership..
Rob November 25, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I get the freedom and of course I'm not saying everyone that buys or sells will move on to hard drugs....what is with you? But, it is obviously a gateway, it's a high, just like your first beer, then you figure out you can get drunk quicker by doing shots. The problem is with illegal drugs like pot, for many kids the next step is coke or the now cheap and very available heroin. Maggie do you have kids? Do they have friends? Good kids sometimes make bad decisions....I'd rather have them throwing up with a hangover than dead from a heroin od. I know it seems like a big step but that's what's happening all over our country.
Maggie November 25, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I empathized thier situation and had them explain to me and themselves how the trial use was worth it and told them they had to chose for themselves if that is where they wanted to stay for the rest of thier lives. Be it booze, beer, or drugs. I asked them what they wanted. I took them to an AAA meeting to see what actually goes on there. I took them to meet people who had thrown their lives away for the sake of drugs and I prayed that I told them enough.. Why? because when you get down to it it is a decision that each person has to make on their own. Thier own conviction thier own goal for their way of life. Yes I have kids. All grown barely taking aspiren and none of them drink other than an occasional social cocktail. I don't have all the answers If someone thinks they have nothing else to look forward to yep I can see where they may make repetitive bad decisions it's the core beliefs and solid belief in themselves that will guide them in the right direction. Quite frankly I didnt want to see my kids barfing from booze anymore than I wanted to see them flying on crack or meth. Who paved your path Rob. Who made your decisions for you? I was striving for leaders not followers. As I said it starts in the home. The freedom to make some mistakes and the help to be sure the lesson is learned. Lets not forget example..!!!
Maggie November 25, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Yes Rob I have kids and I raised them myself and they were wild as wheat. I was always honest with them. Told them that the high they might get off pot could cloud their judgement at the same time it was pleasant. Told them that if they got in trouble there was no such thing as blaming it on a substance whatever it was because they chose to use that substance and they tried a couple of things and they got in trouble and they paid the consequences to the fullest.
Maggie November 25, 2012 at 06:16 PM
And in case you were wondering they all have families of their own, excellent fathers, successfully started their own business and are very active in their communities. I couldn't be more proud of the people they decided to become.
D November 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
What about when your child becomes an alcoholic and can't even function without a drink. And don't say it doesn't happen because it does. Why do you think A/A is such a big program. I've never seen a person who smokes pot not be able to function with out it. Or go through withdrawals that are so bad that they can kill you. But that is from a legal drug. You talk about heroin wouldn't you rather see the police spending their resources to find this than pot. I wonder how many people die yearly from alcohol and nicotine vs pot?
D November 25, 2012 at 06:22 PM
That last post was directed to Rob. @maggie sounds like you may have had some kids that tried pot and possibly still enjoy it. And they turned out to be productive members of society.
jeff November 25, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Marijuana is only a gateway for people to complain about stupid crap! Its going to get legalized and is already de criminalized get use to it or move to another country!
Rob November 25, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Me too and I totally agree with your thoughts and actions....the problem is there are too many unresponsible parents and unsupervised kids to just let everyone make their own decisions. A large part of our society needs and depends on big brother. I don't like it, but that's the way it is. I say legalize for your own use. You want it, you grow it, you smoke it. If you sell it, you pay the price, whether that's jail or fines. If your growing more than a couple plants, you lose your right to grow and pay the fine. Much like having a drivers license, it's good till you abuse it. I don't think it should be readily available to every kid that has $10 bucks in their pocket, without some consequences.
Maggie November 25, 2012 at 06:34 PM
D: In a round about way I guess I was saying that anyone can use an excuse of anything to make a mess of their lives. Whipped cream can be the culprit that your too big to get out of bed. If you need it you can find a crutch in a mulitude of places. Just the same with alcohol. It's all a chemical adjustment and of course creates an imbalance. Fix the imbalance and the decision can be made to follow whatever life you chose. No I'm not saying you will be rich etc but the choice will now be yours whatever it is. Again it's a personal decision that each person has to make for themselves. Control will never be successful.
Rob November 25, 2012 at 06:35 PM
@Jeff, lol do some research on the "legalized" pot laws. Superseded by federal laws, medical only or filled with loopholes. Guys there are examples for every point of view, be it alcohol (which is already legal, in case you didny know), pot or heroin. I'm sure there are a few very successful heroin addicts too....what's your point? Doesn't mean it should be readily available and legal to the general public. You have to look outside your little world and look at the big picture and societies behavior as a whole.
Rob November 25, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Oh yeah @Jeff I have several homes in several different countries I visit them all frequently. Thanks for the advice, I'm heading out in January, I'll send you a postcard from Belize.
jeff November 25, 2012 at 06:42 PM
We research every day since 1989 Im not even a smoker most people have no clue about the damage of the legal drugs vs pot where there are none proven yet. Stick with your alcohol then and do the damage.
jeff November 25, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Hey every one Rob is giving HJ'S in Belize!
jeff November 25, 2012 at 06:45 PM
We have several homes but there here we keep our $ in the our country!
jeff November 25, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Actually I lied I do have a home in SK, Canada too.
Rob November 25, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Yep, about what I expected! Thanks for your approval Jeff, it means a lot.
D November 25, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Jeff it's people like Rob that are the problem. He says our government says its illegal so it's a bad thing. Our government says alcohol and nicotine are legal so that's ok. How many kids start smoking at a young age. I remember most of my friends starting when I was in 8th grade. I know first hand the dangers of alcohol and nicotine vs marijuana. I've seen people not be able to leave the house or do anything for that matter because they had the shakes so bad. How many people are out there in prison because they can't stop drinking and driving and are on their 3rd or 4th DUI. If rob has so many homes in so many countries he must of been to places like Holland and Canada where they have a totally different outlook on marijuana. If people have the choice to drink alcohol or smoke cigarets what can't they choose if they want to smoke pot. I smoked it for over a decade then I got a job with random drug testing. I quit. No physical withdrawal no need to go to meetings and get a sponsor no patch or prescription. I can go into a room with 100 people smoking pot and not even have the faintest problem with it. How much tax payers money would be saved if they quit arresting, prosecuting , and incarcerating harmless pot offenders.
jeff November 25, 2012 at 07:49 PM
D they could pay off the deficit for one. Look at Colorado they legalized and now will spend 40 million on there schools same with Washington. If your kid wants to smoke weed he can get it just as easy as if it was legal anyway so why not create millions of jobs with it. Now the tourism in those 2 states will quadruple and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The other states will all follow suit and get there piece then the Feds are going to say wow now we don't have to send all this $ and subsidize any more thus we will have a surplus like non other than we have ever had! The info is out about the affects of marijuana and its mostly positive sure dont drive on it no different than alcohol and how many millions will we save not prosecuting some poor kidd and his girl friend for smoking a joint!
FlyingTooLow November 25, 2012 at 08:19 PM
@ D... You have my vote.
D November 26, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Wow that sounds like a tuff decision. More money for our schools to educate our children. Or continue to let police (like the Mchenry county sheriff) get paid to watch customers who shop at a legal store like Big Grow. Then violate their rights and go to their homes and tell lies to get inside and destroy their lives. I think I'd much rather see our money go to our children's education. Considering the middle class is dying an a good education is going to help you succeed.
jeff November 26, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Yeah the twisted law enforcement around here has always been that way. The other 17 states were it legal for medical purposes most of those on the next vote will get legalized for recreational use too it will be taxed and all will be well. Again if your kids want to go by grass they can do it just as easy as walking into a licensed store anyway. At least a lot of people are seeing the light.
Micheal Singley January 15, 2013 at 06:40 PM
All these articles and none of them are true!! How can we trust the very people who protect us when they state lies!! This is the owner of Big Grow , I promote my store with all the right intentions and i get this in return. This guy they say is an employee, is not. And They didn't get 2.5lbs from my store. It just appalls me to see all these articles and none of them are true!
Micheal Singley January 15, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Have your lawyer get the discovery of the case and you will know exactly how the got you!!


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