Suspect in Asher Tool marijuana grow operation still at large

ROCKFORD — A Chicago man suspected in the marijuana-growing operation at the Asher Tool warehouse is still at large.

Shlimon Shimon, 49, is the seventh suspect in the operation police discovered on the corner of 11th Street and 18th Avenue after a massive fire destroyed the building on Jan. 6, 2015. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

Authorities say Shimon conspired with six others in the operation, including Yousif Y. Pira, 65, of Chicago, who was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison. Other defendants are Jeremiah N. Clement, 39, of Des Plaines; George Bacus, 54, of  Niles; Justin T. Paglusch, 36, of Ingleside; Casey Williams, 30, of Great Falls, Montana; and 24-year-old Destiny Freeman, of Palmer, Alaska.

Clement and Paglusch were sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016. Williams was sentenced on Aug. 23, 2017, to 57 months. Freeman received a 23-month sentence a day later. Bacus was sentenced on Sept. 22, to 33 months.

Pira purchased grow lights and other equipment and supplies operation, and installed wiring for the lights, the U.S. Attorney alleged.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, Rockford Police Department and Rockford Fire Department assisted in the investigation. Other investigating agencies included the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Skokie Police Department.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph C. Pedersen and Margaret J. Schneider. R.

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