COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Drugs found during a recent traffic stop in Illinois led to the discovery of a marijuana growing operation in the basement of a home Monday.

Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Gary Young said law enforcement in Illinois found marijuana packaged and ready for distribution when they arrested a man and searched his car. The Utah resident told Illinois police he had grown the marijuana in his home.

The date of the traffic stop and the man's identity were unavailable Monday.

Cottonwood Heights police searched the residence at 7960 Willow Stream Drive, finding "two or three dozen" mature marijuana plants, as well as packages of harvested marijuana ready for sale, Young said.

"That's a significant grow, especially in a house," Young said. 

The man lived alone in the house, and police are investigating whether he had any additional growing operations. Young said he doesn't believe any neighbors in the quiet subdivision were aware of the man's activities.

Police are unsure whether the man was acting independently or if he had ties to any drug cartels.

McKenzie Romero

Twitter: @McKenzieRomero