More charges against man accused of selling synthetic pot
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More charges have been filed against an Elgin man who was accused last month of possessing synthetic marijuana at his Algonquin tobacco shop.
John G. Monteleone, 45, of the 0-99 block of Brookside Drive, now faces up to 60 years in prison on the most recent charge of possession of more than 200 grams of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to Kane County County records and prosecutors.
Monteleone was first arrested in late September after Algonquin police and members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a division of the state police, searched King Puff-N-Stuff, on the 1400 block of Commerce Court.
NCNTF officials said they conducted a three-month investigation in which agents bought merchandise that tested positive for an analog of JWH-018, a banned controlled substance in Illinois.
Authorities say they seized 168, one-gram packages of synthetic marijuana from the store, along with another 3,582, one-gram packages of synthetic marijuana from the car of Monteleone's wife. The street value of the pot was $65,000, officials said.
He is due in court on Nov. 7 in McHenry County court on charges from his initial arrest. Monteleone was arrested again Thursday after a statewide grand jury indictment. His bond was set Friday at $500,000, meaning he must post $50,000 to be released while the case is pending. He is due in Kane County court on Oct. 24.
The most recent charges are from the September search of his Elgin home and vehicle.
Defense attorney Edward Edens said Monteleone did not intend to sell synthetic marijuana and received assurances from the manufacturer that the "potpourri" was legal.
"What this case is about is he was selling something not for human consumption that kids try to smoke," Edens said. "It's potpourri, like stuff you put in your bathroom that smells nice. Everything said this stuff is legal. My client had no idea."
Monteleone's wife, Tracy, 43, also was charged with two felony counts, the most serious of which also carries 60 years in prison. Tracy Monteleone was released Thursday after posting $2,500 bond, Edens said.
Edens said John Monteleone has no previous criminal record and vehemently denies any wrongdoing.
"He's in shock. He and his wife are both in shock," Edens said. "He's a regular guy."
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said synthetic marijuana is a danger to the community.
"When it began to gain popularity, the (state) legislature acted quickly to ban it," he said. "Our office will use the appropriate and necessary resources to enforce this law."
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