A Cary man lost his 5-foot long pet alligator after an October 2011 drug bust but is getting another chance to move forward without a felony conviction.
Nicholas R. Cosmano, 27, of the 7200 block of Owl Way, recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession and was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge, 40 hours community service, random drug tests, counseling, drug addiction treatment, and fined $4,400, court records show.
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Cosmano was initially charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and production of 20 to 50 marijuana plants after McHenry County Sheriff's Deputies executed a search warrant.
"He was never able to get (the alligator) returned to him," said defense attorney Dan Hofmann. "We did not get it back."
The female alligator, which Cosmano apparently owned since it was a hatchling when it was given to him as a gift, was picked up by the McHenry County Animal Control Office and turned over to the Chicago Herpetological Society.
Cosmano, who did not have a previous criminal record, pleaded guilty in exchange for other felonies being dismissed.
Authorities said Cosmano was busted with 16 marijuana plants, 100 grams of marijuana, grow lights, ballasts and other growing chemicals.
The most severe felony carried a five-year prison term if found guilty.
Hofmann called the court's conditions "very significant" and said Cosmano could face up to a year in jail if he violates his probation.
"He's basically under the microscope (of the court)," Hofmann said. "I certainly don't perceive that he got a break on this. He had no prior history of drug involvement."
Judge Gordon Graham accepted the plea.
Massage lawsuit settled: A lawsuit filed after a masseuse exposed himself to a South Elgin woman who was getting a massage in November 2008 recently was concluded in Kane County court.
The woman sued Heavenly Massage, 141 S. Randall Road, Geneva, and the masseuse, Michael J. Tovrea, after the incident, records show.
Tovrea, formerly of Sugar Grove who now lives in downstate Marseilles, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery in spring 2009 and completed 30 months probation.
According to court records, Tovrea failed to appear at the last court hearing and Judge F. Keith Brown ordered a judgment of $67,500 in favor of the woman.
Heavenly Massage also agreed in September to pay the woman $20,500 to settle the suit, records show.
Kudos to Aurora police: Kane County prosecutors recently secured convictions against two Aurora men in two cold cases.
Michael J. Reyes was convicted in the 1993 shooting deaths of two brothers from Montgomery. Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon thanked Aurora Police investigators Mike Nilles and John Munn for their work in that case. He also credited Aurora investigators James Fanscali and Greg Spayth for their work investigating the case of two men gunned down in an alley in 1998. Jaime Diaz faces life in prison after a jury convicted him in the murders.