WOOD RIVER — More than 20 marijuana plants were seized and a suspected grow operation halted as a police tactical unit swarmed a quiet Wood River neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEA) executed the high-risk search warrant at 979 East Acton Ave. Neighbors were alerted to the commotion when a flash bang grenade was hurled through a window of the residence.
According to Wood River Police Chief Otis Steward, more than 20 potted cannabis plants were seized from the residence, but that number could rise as the investigation continued. Police also seized equipment consistent with an active growing operation. Police were seen taking several large containers of evidence.
One individual was at the residence when the warrant was executed and taken into custody. However, police were searching for a main suspect as of Tuesday evening.
The ILEAS is a multi-agency law enforcement team trained in matters of public safety and terrorism prevention and response.
Authorities said they would update the situation later Wednesday.
The address on East Acton has a dark past. On June 20, 1978, 22-year-old Karla Brown was found bound, stabbed and strangled in the home, just one day after she and her boyfriend moved in.
Her murder was solved four years later by forensic experts who analyzed bite marks on her body. On July 15, 1983, John Prante, who lived across the street, was convicted and sentenced to 75 years in prison.
Nathan Woodside can be reached at 618-463-2557.