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LI Man Arrested For Allegedly Growing Pot Farm

Mark Kern, 54, Was Arrested As Part Of 'Operation Green Thumb'

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The Town of Smithtown Department of Public Safety announced the arrest of a man for allegedly operating a marijuana farm in a wooded area in Commack.

Mark Kern, 54, of Kings Park was arrested following the four-month-long Operation Green Thumb.

According to authorities, Kern operated his marijuana plant farm in a secluded water recharge basin at Motor Parkway and Redleaf Lane in Commack.

The alleged grow spot was apparently ideal.

“It’s probably an ideal spot for cultivation of this type. It’s secluded,” Smithtown Public Safety Dep. Chief Kevin McPadden, “Something you might see in southeast Asia. At first, small plants then seven to ten feet.”

The pot plants were first discovered in early May and officials said at least two people tended to the plants.

A joint special operations task force from the Department of Public Safety Park Ranger Division along with the Suffolk County Police and the DEA conducted surveillance of the operation over a four-month period, authorities announced.

Officials haven’t yet determined the street value of the marijuana growing on the hundreds of 7 to 10 foot tall plants.

His attorney called this a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“The marijuana was in a recharge basin. Nobody possessed anything,” Defense Attorney Vincent Trimarco said,”I think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Kern has been charged with criminal possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and criminal trespass, authorities announced.

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