James W. Wright

A Brookfield business owner charged with selling cannabis wax out of a back room of a Burlington Avenue storefront waived his preliminary hearing on April 10 and was sentenced to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Drug Abuse Program, more commonly known as “drug school,” a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office has confirmed.

Shawn M. Odneal, 41, who operates Root 66 Aquaponic Garden Shop at 8863 Burlington Ave., was arrested by Riverside police on March 16 at the store along with an employee named James W. Wright, 51, of Lyons.

Both men were charged with felony manufacture and delivery of cannabis. At a hearing in front of Judge Pamela Leeming at the Maybrook courthouse on April 10, Wright pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of cannabis possession and was sentenced to two days in jail/time served.

Odneal, a Brookfield resident, will have charges against him dismissed as long as he completes the court’s drug program, which will require him to attend classes. If he completes the classes without being charged in the meantime, prosecutors will dismiss the charges. According to the state’s attorney’s office, Odneal’s next status hearing is July 10.

Drug school often is offered in Cook County as an alternative to criminal prosecution to adults who have been charged with drug possession (misdemeanor or felony) but who have no prior history of dealing drugs or violence and have no prior felony convictions.

In a post on the Root 66 Facebook page after the court hearing, Odneal declared his troubles at an end.

“Case closed and all charges dropped today!!! (As expected) … But having said that, I sincerely apologize for the embarrassing event we all had to endure,” Odneal wrote.

In the meantime, Odneal has started an online GoFundMe campaign, hoping to raise $8,000.

“We’re being forced to move out of Brookfield and clear my name of some wrongful allegations,” Odneal wrote in his plea to donors. “But once this has passed we’ll begin to rebuild. So now we are asking your support to regain our honor and continue helping educate the public about living happy and healthy.”

Odneal started the fundraising campaign on April 4. By April 11, five donors had come through with $450.

In addition to thanking customers for their support, Odneal also apologized to village residents and his landlord, Martin Lynch, who owns the storefront as well as Irish Times to the west and the former Cock Robin property to the east.

“Apologizes to all the citizens of Brookfield and my landlord Martin Lynch Irish Times for the fiasco, hope it didn’t disturb St Paddies lunch too much … my apologies to the Riverside and Brookfield PD’ s,” he wrote.

Attempts by the Landmark to reach Odneal by phone at Root 66 were unsuccessful.

Last week, Lynch confirmed to the Landmark that he was not renewing Root 66’s lease, which expires April 30

Lynch said he didn’t have another tenant ready to take over the space. However, Lynch did reveal that he’s been working with an architect to see whether it might be possible to build a new mixed-use development, one that conforms to the village’s new Station Area zoning code.