Junkyard Condemned Following Last Month's $9.5 Million Marijuana Bust

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Remember the semi-truck full of three thousand pounds of pot that was delivered to Rockford from Mexico last month? Well, the junkyard it was delivered to was condemned today. 23 News has an exclusive on what the Rockford Police Department’s Auto Theft Task force has found.

Padlocks closed the Forest City Recovery location this afternoon at 207 People's Avenue. Police have been investigating the junkyard for a year.

It was full of stolen cars and stolen catalytic converters. It had a special permit to operate, but that expired in April. The city sent the junkyard a cease-and-desist letter in May, but it wouldn't close down. It's been cited for open car titles, multiple zoning violations, and operating without a valid business license.

The investigation that started a year ago didn't have anything to do with drugs, but when marijuana from a Mexican drug cartel was delivered there last month investigators cracked down.

Sgt. Patrick Hoey said, "Once it was discovered on this property, our detectives who were dealing with the stolen cars brought it to our attention that this is the same property. We looked into further through city hall and found out they did not have the proper permit to operate. So we moved to shut the operation down because it appeared that the property was being used as a criminal enterprise for different criminal offenses."

Police say across the city there has been a rash of catalytic converters being stolen out of cars. Many of those converters were recovered at Forest City.

You can read more about the original bust here.


Release from the Rockford Police Dept.

The Rockford Police Department and the Northern Illinois Auto Theft Task Force have been investigating Forest City Recovery, 207 Peoples Avenue for several months. Forest City Recovery has been operating a salvage/scrap yard at this location.

In October 2010 a stolen vehicle and over 150 “open” vehicle titles were located on the property.

In April 2011 Rockford Police intercepted a semi-load of stolen used appliances. The driver admitted to taking this and other loads of appliances to Forest City Recovery.

In June 2011 The Secretary of State Police cited Forest City Recovery for being an unlicensed auto parts recycler and for failure to maintain documents for purchasing vehicles. Also, in June 2011 two more stolen vehicles were recovered from the property by Rockford Police and the Northern Illinois Auto Theft Task Force.

On September 12, 2011 Federal and local police confiscated approximately 3,000 pounds of cannabis on the property.

Also, in September 2011 Rockford Police Detectives located several catalytic converters on the property that were recently removed from vehicles. The Rockford Police Department and the Northern

Illinois Auto Theft Task Force alerted the public regarding a recent rash of auto thefts. When the stolen vehicles were discovered the catalytic converters were missing.

It was determined that Forest City Recovery had an expired special use permit to operate business at 207 Peoples Avenue. There application for a new permit was denied for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the recovery of stolen vehicles and suspicious activity on the property.

On 10-13-2011 the Rockford Police, Rockford Public Works, Rockford Community Development and Legal Department, along with Agents of the Northern Illinois Auto Theft Task Force inspected the property and subsequently condemned the property for building and zoning issues.


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  • by jon Location: rockford on Oct 17, 2011 at 05:14 AM
    its hilarious that so many people who dont know anything about the situatiion are claiming innocence. wait, are you the police? wait did you forget there are things called non-public records they operate by. stop being mad your friend got caught and try to help him if you care. people complaining over the friggin people getting arrested has enver done anything
  • by Yep Location: Rockford on Oct 16, 2011 at 07:27 PM
    I have tried to state the truth several times, apparently this station would rather sensationalize this story with slander and here say about one person, disregarding the facts. My comments were nothing compared to "inthaknow" and "taxd", so they don't make it to the approval section, I guess the truth is too boring!
  • by Yep Location: Rockford on Oct 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM
    I think it is funny how you will post these defaming comments about this business, but won't post the comments that tell the true story! Way to sensationalize a bunch of bull!
    • reply
      by Rockford Voter on Oct 16, 2011 at 06:55 AM in reply to Yep
      @yep...What is the true story? This is your opportunity to share it with everyone. I have no opinion either way, but with all of you saying there is another side to the story, you need to put that information out there for us. I want to hear the truth, if you know it, then say so.
      • reply
        by Yep on Oct 16, 2011 at 07:24 PM in reply to Rockford Voter
        Rockford voter, I have tried to post the truth, but for some reason this station will not post my comments which speak nothing but the FACTS and the TRUE story! Apparently allowing comments that sensationalize this topic and slander one individual are more important than the truth.
        • reply
          by Proprietors Daughter on Oct 17, 2011 at 04:13 PM in reply to Yep
          I couldn't agree more!!!!
  • by Proprietor's DAUGHTER Location: ROCKFORD IL on Oct 15, 2011 at 06:49 AM
    AGAIN, I WOULD LIKE TO CLEAR THINGS UP. inthaknow: NO HE WAS NOT SENTENCED, THAT CASE IS PURE BS JUST LIKE THE DETECTIVES THAT PULLED HIM OVER. If you knew anything about him you would know first hand that he had nothing to do with THE CARTEL NOR DID HE TELL ON ANYONE. ON A SIDE NOTE FOR YOU, GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU START TALKING. THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MY FATHER, NOR IS IT ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS TO GO AND TELL LIES. Rockford Voter: No one who had anything to do with Forest City knew that drugs were in that semi until law enforcement showed up. On top of that, the semi was not ours nor did we have anything to do with his semi or it's trailer. Taxd: Maybe I'm crazy here, but I have a feeling you think you know everything. You know NOTHING about my father, and as far as I'm concerned until you want to start putting the truth out into the open, then shut up. and GP: Last but not least, you are very right. Those offenses are civil. But these criminal offenses that the police have reported never resulted in any arrests, therefore how are they even mentioned? Once again, why don't we look at things for ourselves, since the police department seems to put their own twist to things. Since all of you want to slander my father, why don't you put your names and locatons out there.. Oh wait, it's called COWARD.
  • by Levi Location: Rockford on Oct 15, 2011 at 06:47 AM
    If you can sit here and slander a business or person and hide your name your a true coward, when you can get away from the street talk and come out with facts then comment on here.
  • by bill w Location: rehab on Oct 15, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    A junk yard condemned.....that's too funny!
  • by WTFROCKFORD Location: ROCKFORD on Oct 14, 2011 at 09:19 PM
    Funny how many people can get on here and defame one person. This was a family run business, with employees who worked hard everyday. This is not a glamorous business by any means. Backdoor drug dealing?? Seriously? Uh, have you seen this place or been there? Get real! And what do you do if a giant semi pulls on your property?? Not much you can do folks? No one affiliated with this business was arrested in the semi incident, because no one was involved, even the owner who you are trying to paint this awful picture of. I know these people, and you couldn't meet a nicer group of individuals! This is plain and simple another way for good ole' Rockford to try to look like they are doing something for the community! Wow good job City Hall! You shut down a salvage yard, wow kudos to you! In the meantime there was just another shooting, oh what's that I hear, yep another armed robbery. Omg, did someone else just overdose on heroin? But by god, we have a damn riverwalk to build. That's right you fools, shut your curtains, close your eyes, turn another blind eye to the REAL problems in this city, because you all can sleep safe tonight know a SALVAGE YARD was condemned!! Yippee
  • by inthaknow Location: toocloseville on Oct 14, 2011 at 05:27 PM
    So I see some off the people posting are out of touch with reality. This was no big secret that forest gump city recovery was 'the' spot to take stolen/no title vehicles to be disposed of...just put the stolen car and crush it between 2 cars that are legitimate...sound familiar anyone? Have a truck load of rims,engines or converters that you couldn't take anywhere else? Are we getting warm yet? You get the picture. Same with anything questionable that could be recycled.....take it to forest gump city recovery no questions asked!
    Seems someone hit the nail on the head with the dope dealing and criminal tap sheet comments,and correct me if im wrong but i believe the 'proprietor' was just sentenced to prison/jail again,(yes again) for another drug offense. Actually word on the street is the proprietor was involved in setting up the mexican drug cartel to lessen the proprietor sentence for his last drug offense. And on a side note...for the illiterate D-bags that can't spell there is a thing called spell check... you should try it some time... it always amazes me the level of stupidity that is displayed.

    This comment is used for medical purposes only and does not reflect the opinions of myself or anyone else that doesn't know anything. Check the proprietors criminal record and form your own opinions....
    • reply
      by seriously on Oct 14, 2011 at 09:09 PM in reply to inthaknow
      If anyone is out of touch with reality it is you! It is obvious that you are just one of those low life scum suckers who find nothing better to do then defame someone's character! This is a junkyard inthaknow!!! A place where people took junk to be recycled! What kind of questions are supposed to be asked??? Funny how word on the street is this and that, yet couldn't be further from the truth. And yo D-bag, you want to knock someone for spelling, but you are the one on here trying to slander and spit gossip from "the street". For someone who claims to know so much, you really know so little.
  • by Rockford Voter Location: Rockford on Oct 14, 2011 at 04:41 PM
    I'm confused. If all the comments in support of this business are true, perhaps someone would like to explain why there was a semi full of marijuana on the property. Why was the semi even on the property? Please tell me.
  • by Buzz Location: Rockford on Oct 14, 2011 at 01:20 PM
    Good riddance to bad rubbish!
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