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Accused marijuana grower gets new court date

Mark Kern, 54, of Kings Park, was arrested

Mark Kern, 54, of Kings Park, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal trespass and resisting arrest, officials said. A marijuana farm of about 100 plants 7- to 10-feet tall was discovered in a secluded recharge basin in Commack, according to officials.(Sept. 11, 2013) Photo Credit: SCPD; James Carbone

The Kings Park man accused of growing a small marijuana farm in a Commack sump had a new, Dec. 4 court date set Wednesday.

Mark Kern, who has been free on bail, was represented at First District Court in Central Islip by his Smithtown lawyer, Vincent Trimarco Jr., for what the attorney described as a basic conference.

Kern, 54, was arrested the night of Sept. 11 as officials said he and another person brought supplies to tend about 100, 7- to 10-foot-tall marijuana plants in a secluded recharge basin off Motor Parkway. Officials are still searching for Kern's alleged accomplice, who escaped on foot.

Kern was charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a felony, and two misdemeanors, criminal trespass and resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $5,000 cash or $15,000 bond bail.

The arrest resulted from Operation Green Thumb, a four-month surveillance of the sump by the town, Suffolk County Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Kevin McPadden, deputy chief of the Smithtown public safety department.

Smithtown highway workers discovered the farm in early May. Authorities installed and camouflaged fixed camera surveillance inside the basin, which the suspects accessed through holes cut in a fence, McPadden said.

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