Smithtown officials are still on the hunt for a second suspect accused of helping tend to a marijuana farm discovered in Commack.
Town of Smithtown's Public Safety Department busted a 100-plant marijuana farm being grown in a water recharge basin off Vanderbilt Motor Parkway and Redleaf Lane in Commack on Sept. 12. Mark Kern, 44, of Kings Park was arrested and arraigned on criminal charges, but a second man fled the scene on foot.
"We've got several tips on the second suspect, but have not linked it with any forensic evidence," said Deputy Chief Kevin McPadden. "Our investigation is ongoing."
McPadden said his department collected evidence, including jugs used to carry water and fertilizer to and from the marijuana farm, in the Sept. 12 bust. This evidence has been sent out for tests, including hopeful fingerprint identification, according to McPadden.
Among the evidence was roughly 100 - 200 marijuana plants, averaging in height between 7 to 8 feet tall. The plants were removed and sent to a Yaphank facility, but its street value has not yet been determined.
"It is a process to dry, cut and strip the plant to weight the marijuana," McPadden said. "It will take a while."
Kerns is currently out on $5,000 cash bail after being arraigned on one Class E felony count of third-degree criminal possession of marijuana and two misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. He did not enter a plea, but requested time to obtain the services of a defense attorney.
Kern is scheduled to next appear in Central Islip courts on Oct. 2.