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Search Still On for Second Pot Grower

Smithtown Public Safety Department is processing local tips, forensic evidence to come up with positive id.

Streetview from Google Maps of Redleaf Lane and Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in Commack.
Streetview from Google Maps of Redleaf Lane and Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in Commack.
Smithtown officials are still on the hunt for a second suspect accused of helping tend to a marijuana farm discovered in Commack. 

Town of Smithtown's Public Safety Department busted a 100-plant marijuana farm being grown in a water recharge basin off Vanderbilt Motor Parkway and Redleaf Lane in Commack on Sept. 12.  Mark Kern, 44, of Kings Park was arrested and arraigned on criminal charges, but a second man fled the scene on foot. 

"We've got several tips on the second suspect, but have not linked it with any forensic evidence," said Deputy Chief Kevin McPadden. "Our investigation is ongoing." 

McPadden said his department collected evidence, including jugs used to carry water and fertilizer to and from the marijuana farm, in the Sept. 12 bust. This evidence has been sent out for tests, including hopeful fingerprint identification, according to McPadden. 

Among the evidence was roughly 100 - 200 marijuana plants, averaging in height between 7 to 8 feet tall. The plants were removed and sent to a Yaphank facility, but its street value has not yet been determined.

"It is a process to dry, cut and strip the plant to weight the marijuana," McPadden said. "It will take a while." 

Kerns is currently out on $5,000 cash bail after being arraigned on one Class E felony count of  third-degree criminal possession of marijuana and two misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. He did not enter a plea, but requested time to obtain the services of a defense attorney. 

Kern is scheduled to next appear in Central Islip courts on Oct. 2. 
MR. P September 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM
It looks to me like we the taxpayers are going to pay someone with Suffolk County funds to cut, strip and process his stuff to find out what the street value is. What for??? Are we going to sell it? or are the idiots going to smoke it????. I think the plants alone are enough evidence to prosecute the suspect(s).. More waste of our tax dollars
WOODY11780 September 24, 2013 at 10:38 AM
AGREED TONY !!
stownson September 24, 2013 at 08:11 PM
let's waste more taxpayer money.....................
mick filter September 24, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Tony I agree... what kind of BS is that???
Hard Worker with High Taxes September 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM
Deputy McPadden, you investigated these two individuals for 4 Months. 120 Days and you videotaped both individuals entering the location, watering the plants and exiting the location. How is it that you DO NOT know who these guys are? One would think you that during the FOUR MONTHS, your "investigators" would follow these guys back to where they came from, or at least get a license plate or a picture or something, anything. What took FOUR Months? Waiting for the plants to get big so the criminal charges will be maxed and you will be a hero? These guys should have been arrested back in May when you found there pitiful scheme. You should be disgusted with your investigation. And to top it off, you state that you are going to dry manicure the plants. Really? Seriously? Please just do you job and find the suspect already, weigh the plants (whole) and move on with writing parking tickets to tax paying parents who contribute to your income and retirement fund. Sincerely, Concerned Tax Paying Citizen

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