The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration along with the Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force conducted the bust at 22 Preserve Way Tuesday afternoon. Eric Canori, 30, of that address, and Melissa Giove, 37, of Chesapeake, Va. were both arrested on charges they conspired to possess and distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
DEA spokesperson Erin Mulvey said the DEA learned of Giove and Canoris plans when Illinois State Police notified them about a suspicious traffic stop on June 13. DEA officials put their vehicle under surveillance until it arrived in Wilton. Mulvey said the drugs final destination is still under investigation.
Giove, a former professional mountain biker, and Canori were arraigned in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Homer Wednesday and were remanded to custody of U.S. Marshals pending detention hearings Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Between about June 12 and June 16 Giove, Canori, and others agreed to receive and then further distribute about 384 pounds of marijuana, according to information from the DEA. Following their arrests, a box-trailer belonging to Giove on Preserve Way and Canoris residence on the same road were searched. Approximately 400 pounds of marijuana were seized in the trailer and residence, along with drug packaging materials, a money counter and other drug paraphernalia, and over one million dollars in U.S. currency. If convicted, Giove and Conari face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2 million.
The case was investigated by the Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force; the New York State Police; the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois; the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group; the Henry County, Illinois State's Attorney's Office; the DEA Rock Island, Illinois Post of Duty; the DEA Norfolk, Virginia Resident Office; and the Illinois State Police.
Following the defendants' initial appearance, DEA Special Agent in Charge Gilbride stated, "(Drug) trafficking can lead you downhill fast. From championship mountain biking to street level drug dealing, the only reason people turn to drug trafficking is to make a profit from the sale of illicit narcotics. DEA and our law enforcement partners successfully put the brakes on this drug trafficking organisation and put them out of business."