By JILLIAN DUCHNOWSKI – firstname.lastname@example.org
December 1, 2009
WOODSTOCK – McHenry County prosecutors want to know where the 35-year-old Palatine man accused of financing and organizing a large-scale marijuana growing operation got his $10,000 bond.
Phillip J. Koeckritz indicated that he had no job, about $13,000 in credit-card debt, and no real estate or cars when he applied for a public defender. He also indicated that he lived with his mother, who also supported him.
But a Roselle woman posted $10,000 cash for Koeckritz on Nov. 18, about a week after McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon refused to halve his bail amount. During the bond-reduction hearing, prosecutors argued that Koeckritz was a flight risk, partially because his father owns a large international home-improvement manufacturing company as well as a $16.9 million home in Florida.
Koeckritz’s attorney, Special Public Defender George Kililis, said the money came from Koeckritz’s father. But in the Nov. 23 motion for a hearing, prosecutors assert the money came from the illegal production and distribution of marijuana.
A hearing on the matter is set for Dec. 14, but Kililis dismissed prosecutors’ motion as “silly.”
“They knew full well how wealthy his family is,” Kililis said.
Police seized 1,438 marijuana plants with a street value between $1.5 million and $5.7 million from a McHenry home in January.
Koeckritz formally pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of unlawful production of marijuana plants, unlawful possession of marijuana plants, three counts of conspiracy and criminal damage to property.
If convicted of the most serious charge he faces, Koeckritz could be sentenced to between 15 and 30 years in prison.