DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 23, 2017
Joel R. Levin, Acting
, United States Attorney

Lake County Resident Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiring to Manufacture Marijuana in Rockford Warehouse

ROCKFORD — A Lake County man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for his role in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. JUSTIN T. PAGLUSCH, 35, of Ingleside, Ill., was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. On Oct. 6, 2015, in a superseding indictment, a federal grand jury in Rockford charged Paglusch and six other individuals, five men and a woman, with conspiring to manufacture, possess and distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants. The indictment alleges that between Jan. 2, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2015, the defendants conspired to illegally grow and store marijuana in a warehouse located at 1916 11th Street in Rockford. The warehouse was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 6, 2015.

Paglusch pleaded guilty to the charge on March 3, 2017, admitting that in November 2014, Paglusch’s cousin, Jeremiah N. Clement, 39, formerly of Des Plaines, Ill., asked Paglusch to work with others in a marijuana growing operation at the warehouse located at 1916 11th Street in Rockford. Paglusch agreed and during the time of the conspiracy lived at the warehouse. When Paglusch arrived at the warehouse in November 2014, over 1,000 marijuana plants growing on the fourth floor in the warehouse were almost ready to be harvested. There was also a smaller room on the fourth floor of the warehouse that housed the baby or "clone" marijuana plants.As stated in the plea agreement, Paglusch and Clement, along with three other co-defendants started harvesting the crop of finished marijuana plants in December 2014. The harvested marijuana was weighed and packaged into one pound amounts and vacuum sealed. The processed marijuana was stored in a vault at the warehouse, which had a combination lock. Paglusch admitted that during the period of the conspiracy, he was aware that Clement kept a .357 Ruger revolver at the warehouse for protection.

The sentencing was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Celinez Nunez, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Derek Bergsten, Chief of the Rockford Fire Department; and Anthony Scarpelli, Chief of the Skokie, Ill. Police Department. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit and Rockford Police Department Narcotics Unit assisted in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.

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Field Division: Chicago Field Division