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5th Man Sentenced in Asher Tool Fire Investigation

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A Chicago man is sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the marijuana grow operation that started the fire that destroyed Rockford’s Asher Tool Warehouse.

Yousif Y. Para, 65, had been convicted in U.S. District Court of conspiring with six other people to run the marijuana grow operation inside the abandoned building at 1916 11th St., which officials say was made up of more than 1000 marijuana plants.  The grow operation was discovered after the building was destroyed by a massive blaze in January of 2015.

Prosecutors said that Pira purchased grow lights and other equipment and supplies for the illegal operation to grow marijauna in the warehouse and installed wiring for the lights used to grow marijuana.

Five of the other six people have pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and were sentenced to prison time.  The sixth, 49-year-old Shlimon Shimon of Chicago, remain at large.

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