Abandoned vehicle leads deputies to grow operation bust

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Clockwise from top left: Michael Diehl, Michael Wiley, Sheldon Krogmeier and Beth Weyrick (Photos from Henderson County Sheriff)

Police said what started as the investigation of an abandoned vehicle led them to arrest four people and uncover a Salvia plant growing operation.

Salvia is a plant often used as a synthetic marijuana.  Salvia is considered a controlled substance that is illegal to possess or sell in Illinois.  It is also illegal in Iowa, where possession and sale is considered an aggravated misdemeanor.

Henderson County, Illinois Sheriff Steven Haynes said deputies were sent to check out an abandoned vehicle along County Road 575N west of County Road 700E in Lomax just before 8 a.m. Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

That call led deputies to arrest Michael Diehl, 40, of Burlington and Sheldon Krogmeier for attempted burglary, criminal trespassing and possession of a controlled substance. 

The arrest led deputies to investigate Michael Wiley’s property in rural Lomax, where they said they pulled 49 cannabis salvia plants. 

Wiley, 49 and Beth Weyrick, 48, were also arrested.  They were both charged with possession of cannabis, unauthorized production/possession of cannabis sativa plants and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Wiley was also charged with possession of guns and ammunition without a FOID card and driving while his license was revoked.

All four suspects were held without bond in the Henderson County Jail.  All four were expected to appear in Henderson County Court on Friday, October 5.