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Four charged in drug-delivery, money-laundering scheme

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:16 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:17 p.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Four people – including two St. Charles Township residents and a former resident – were charged in a marijuana-delivery and money-laundering scheme that drew the attention of state and federal law-enforcement agencies, Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said Thursday.

The arrests and charges were the result of a joint investigation involving the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security Investigations, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the North Central Narcotics Task Force and the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

"This inter-agency cooperation is vitally important in keeping illegal drugs off the streets,” McMahon said in a prepared statement.

Former St. Charles Township resident Nicholas A. Salemi, 24, now of Sealark Lane, Fallbrook, California, was indicted June 3 on four charges of delivery of marijuana and three counts of money laundering, all felonies.

The felony charges have penalties ranging from two years up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

Maryhelen Kwiatkowski, 32, of Sealark Lane, Fallbrook, California, also was indicted on two counts of felony unlawful delivery of marijuana.

Her charges carry penalties of three to seven years in prison and/or fines of up to $25,000.

Anthony W. Salemi, 56, of the 5N block of North Glen Oak Lane, St. Charles Township, was charged June 11 with three felony counts of money laundering, punishable by two to five years in prison and/or fines of up to $25,000.

Anthony Salemi also was charged with misdemeanor producing/possessing marijuana plants, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana, punishable by six months to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,500.

Gina T. Salemi, 52, of the 5N block of North Glen Oak Lane, St. Charles Township, was charged June 12 with two felony counts of money laundering. The charges are punishable by two to five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

Between Feb. 19 and April 2, Nicholas Salemi and Kwiatkowski allegedly shipped marijuana from California to Kane County through the U.S. Postal Service, according to the statement from McMahon's office.

On multiple occasions, the proceeds from selling marijuana were shipped to Kane County and received by Anthony and Gina Salemi, who then forwarded the money back to their son, Nicholas Salemi, according to McMahon's statement.

On June 11, cannabis sativa plants, as well as drug paraphernalia and marijuana was seized from the Salemis' home on North Glenoak Lane in St. Charles Township after executing a search warrant at the property.

Nicholas Salemi and Kwiatkowski were arrested at their Fallbrook, California, home June 11 by state and federal authorities. They remained in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department as of Thursday morning, awaiting extradition to Illinois, according to McMahon's statement.

Anthony Salemi and Gina Salemi were arrested June 11 in Kane County, also by local and federal authorities.

Anthony Salemi was released after posting $18,000 bail, 10 percent of the $180,000 bond; Gina Salemi was released after posting $5,000 bail, 10 percent of the $50,000 bond that was set, records show.  

The Salemis are scheduled to appear in court today.

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