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updated: 8/1/2014 5:22 PM

Kane authorities want $111,000 in mail order pot scheme forfeited

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  • Maryhelen Kwiatkowski

    Maryhelen Kwiatkowski


Kane County authorities have initiated forfeiture proceedings on some $111,000 found in bank accounts of a California woman accused of helping a St. Charles family launder money through a mail-order marijuana scheme.

Prosecutors filed paperwork against Maryhelen Kwiatkowski, 32, seeking a judge's order that she permanently forfeit $111,152.81, according to court records.

Kwiatkowski admitted to investigators that she used money to help Nicholas Salemi, 24, of St. Charles, establish an indoor grow operation at a Fallbrook, California home, lent him money to buy marijuana and brought marijuana from California to Kane County via bus in order to sell it, according to court records.

Kwiatkowski, Salemi and his parents were arrested in mid-June after an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

"The investigation revealed that Nicholas Salemi sends packages containing cannabis through the United States Postal Service mail from California to residences in Illinois. Subsequently, banks, personal interaction and vehicles were used to transport drug proceeds from California to Kane County," read part of a motion filed by Kane County prosecutors.

On April 2, postal inspectors intercepted a package after an undercover officer dropped it off at Salemi's parents' house and found 2,380 grams, or more than five pounds, of marijuana inside of it, according to court records.

Kwiatkowski also told investigators the grow operation at the Fallbrook home had about 100 plants and she once loaned Salemi $4,000 to buy marijuana, records show.

Kwiatkowski is free on bond and due in court Sept. 26.

Nicholas Salemi was being held at the Kane County jail on $500,000 bail, meaning he must post $50,000 to be released while the charges are pending. His next court date is Aug. 20.

Both he and Kwiatkowski face anywhere from probation to seven years in prison if convicted.

Anthony W. Salemi, 56, and Gina T. Salemi, 53, are both free on bond and due in court Aug. 28. They face anywhere from probation to five years in prison if convicted.

They are accused of collecting money for their son from the marijuana sales and funneling it back to him.

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