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updated: 6/19/2014 4:53 PM

St. Charles couple, son charged in marijuana, scheme

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  • Anthony W. Salemi

    Anthony W. Salemi

  • Gina T. Salemi

    Gina T. Salemi


A St. Charles couple has been charged in a money laundering scheme involving marijuana shipped from California by their son, authorities said.

Anthony and Gina Salemi, 56 and 52, respectively, were arrested last week after an investigation of several agencies and charged with felony money laundering.

Authorities say the couple's son in California mailed marijuana to the Salemis' home on the 5N400 block of Glen Oak Lane. Authorities say money from selling the drugs was sent back to Nicholas Salemi, 24, in Fallbrook, Calif., to buy more drugs and have them mailed to St. Charles.

According to the Kane County state's attorney's office, marijuana was mailed between Feb. 19 and April 2, 2014.

On June 11 authorities searched the Salemis' home in St. Charles, seizing drug paraphernalia, marijuana and marijuana plants. At the same time, authorities arrested Nicholas Salemi and Maryhelen Kwiatkowski, 32, at their home.

Nicholas Salemi, formerly of St. Charles, is charged with money laundering and four counts of delivery of marijuana, the most severe charge carrying a maximum 15-year prison term if convicted, authorities said.

Kwiatkowski also is charged with two counts of marijuana delivery, the most severe charge carrying up to seven years in prison. Probation also is an option.

Both were being held by San Diego County authorities and are awaiting extradition to Kane County, when their initial court dates will be set.

Master Sgt. Bill Backus of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is a unit of the Illinois State Police, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The task force is listed in court records as the charging agency in the case.

James Casement is the defense attorney representing Anthony and Gina Salemi.

"They maintain their innocence and we hope that justice will be served," Casement said of the couple.

According to court records, Anthony and Gina Salemi did not have any previous arrests.

They are both free after posting bond -- Anthony $18,000 and Gina $5,000 -- and are due in Kane County court Friday.

If convicted, they each face between two and five years in prison. Probation also is an option.

According to Kane County court records, Nicholas Salemi was arrested in September 2007 on charges of domestic battery and later received supervision. He also was arrested on felony ecstasy charges in May 2008, but the charges were later dismissed. He also was cited for disorderly conduct and underage drinking in Elburn in August 2009.

Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon thanked U.S. Postal Inspectors, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security agents, the Illinois attorney general's office and investigators from the North Central Narcotics Task Force.

"This interagency cooperation is vitally important in keeping illegal drugs off the streets," McMahon said.

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