CREST HILL, Ill., April 15 (UPI) -- After DEA agents raided the home of a customer who had purchased organic fertilizer for an edible hibiscus plant, the owner of an Illinois garden center thought his business would wither up and die.
As it happens, customers have been coming back to Midwest Hydroganics in Crest Hill in droves.
"It's been nothing but support," proprietor Joe Vota told the Holliston-Hopkinton Patch. "They say, 'We're not leaving you. The community's not letting this store close."
Although the raid of 46-year-old Angela Kirking 's home has drawn a lot of attention, that month-long investigation was just one of 11 that authorities have conducted on Midwest Hydroganics, according to Will County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Charles Pelkie.
When agents invaded Kirking 's home, they did find nine grams of marijuana.
"We charge the cases that the DEA brings to our office and we charge them appropriately," Pelkie said. "When they bring us felony cases we charge felony cases. When they bring us misdemeanor cases we charge misdemeanor cases."
The attention has only helped business flourish at Midwest, “Illinois’ #1 Hydroponic and Organic Garden Center.”
"A women's gardening club came in on Saturday because they read about Ms. Kirking," Vota said. "They bought 47 bags of soil for their gardening club. They'd never been here before. I'm putting people to work, not taking them away from their families."