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posted: 9/26/2013 12:01 AM

Police seize synthetic cannabis from Algonquin tobacco store

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Daily Herald staff report

Police seized more than $65,000 worth of synthetic cannabis Wednesday at an Algonquin tobacco store after a three-month investigation, according to a news release.

Agents from the North Central Narcotics Task Force and members of the Algonquin Police Department executed a search warrant around noon on Wednesday at King Puff-N-Stuff on the 1400 block of Commerce Drive. They seized 168 packages of synthetic cannabis, each containing one gram of the product, and more than $1,000 at the store, police said.

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Agents had previously conducted undercover purchases of synthetic cannabis from the store and received a lab report from an Illinois State Police forensics lab that confirmed the product was an analog of JWH-018, a banned controlled substance in Illinois, authorities said.

John G. Monteleone, 45, of the 100 block of Brookside Drive in Elgin, was arrested and charged with three counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

An additional 3,582 packages of synthetic cannabis, each containing 1 gram of the product, were seized at Monteleone's home, along with $1,700 and nearly 125 grams of suspected cannabis, authorities said. His wife gave authorities permission to search the residence and her vehicle.

"The illicit synthetic cannabinoid market has been increasing dramatically over the last few years," said North Central Narcotics Task Force Director Bill Backus. "The sale and distribution of synthetic cannabinoid have caused significant tragedy to the citizens of both Kane and McHenry Counties in the past."

Backus said the approximate street value of the seized substances is $65,000.

Additional charges are expected after the case is reviewed by the Illinois attorney general's office. Tracy Monteleone was not charged at this time, pending review of the investigation by the attorney general's office.

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