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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Illinois State Police Join Federal Authorities to Announce Results of 5 Year Drug Conspiracy Investigation

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Press Release Date: September 8, 2014    || Archived February 4, 2016

Feds Share $8.9 Million of Forfeited Assets with Illinois State Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies

EAST MOLINE – Illinois State Police law enforcement officials joined New York federal authorities today to announce the distribution of $12,515,738 seized in a drug conspiracy case resulting from a routine traffic stop in Illinois on I-88 in June of 2009.  Federal authorities announced that $8,923,708.19 of the assets have been distributed to 33 law enforcement agencies in the Capitol District area, Illinois and California.

The five year investigation was launched after an Illinois State Police (ISP) Trooper conducted a routine traffic stop on I-88.  During the traffic stop, approximately 334 pounds of cannabis was uncovered hidden inside the vehicle.  The investigation led to multiple witnesses cooperating with authorities in Illinois, New York and California.  Investigative leads with multiple law enforcement agencies from coast to coast, including the Quad Cities Metropolitan Group in Illinois, were developed.  

The drugs were intended to be transported from California to upstate New York for distribution.  Through a controlled delivery executed with the Albany DEA Office, the delivery was completed, resulting in the arrest of three co-conspirators, Melissa Giove, Eric Canori and Robert Reinfurt, and eventually two others, Pamela Grosch and Sara Shafer.  At the time of the arrest, $1,473,543 in cash was seized from Eric Canori’s residence, along with approximately 40 pounds of marijuana.  A subsequent search of a home in Ross, CA, rented by Canori, yielded another $688,660 which was also seized.  Law enforcement agents were later provided with the locations of buried gold and silver bars and coins.  172 gold bars, 161 gold coins and a 100 ounce silver bar were recovered, forfeited and eventually auctioned.  Two pickup trucks and one trailer were also seized and forfeited.

“This case is a classic example of how ISP officers routinely uncover major criminal activity on Illinois roads and expressways that eventually lead to sophisticated organized crime operations across state lines,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.  “The collaboration between agencies underscores the importance of shared intelligence and resources so that we maximize our ability to target, prosecute and dismantle criminal enterprises that threaten innocent victims and communities.” 

United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, Wilbert L. Plummer, Associate Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division, of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and James R. Burns, Jr., Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Albany District Office, of the Drug Enforcement Administration announced the Forfeiture Program today in New York.

Twenty percent, or $2,503,147.60, went to the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program.  This encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds were used to facilitate federal crimes. The primary mission of the Program is to employ asset forfeiture powers in a manner that enhances public safety and security.  Asset forfeiture laws enable law enforcement agencies to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations and deprive them of their illegal profits. 

Expenses involved with seizing, maintaining and liquidating the assets totaled $1,088,882.21.

U.S. Attorney Hartunian stated, “What started as a simple traffic stop in Illinois turned into a well-orchestrated, multi-state effort involving the collaboration of many agencies resulting in the sentencing of five drug traffickers and forfeiture of millions of dollars of assets.  By attacking large scale drug trafficking organizations and stripping them of their ill-gotten profits, we make a hard-hitting impact, stopping the distribution of drugs and ensuring the safety of our communities.  We are pleased to use our federal resources to provide these forfeited assets to our partner agencies.” 

DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “Canori reaped millions from the illicit sale of marijuana in the Albany area contributing to drug abuse and drug addiction.  Due to law enforcement’s cooperation, those millions will now be used to stop drug trafficking, curb drug abuse and support law enforcement’s ongoing efforts to keep our cities safe and secure.”

Agencies receiving a share of the $8,923,708.19 of forfeited assets include twenty local police departments, sheriff’s offices and district attorney’s offices, four New York State agencies and one federal agency.  Additionally four Illinois law enforcement agencies and four California law enforcement agencies shared in the distribution.  All received a percentage of the shared assets because of their cooperative work on the case. 

U.S. v. Canori et al. asset sharing 



Distributions to law enforcement agencies


Distribution to Federal Asset Forfeiture Program


Expenses seizing, maintaining and liquidating assets





New York State agencies


Albany County District Attorney’s Office


Albany Police Department


Bethlehem Police Department


Columbia County Sheriff’s Office


East Greenbush Police Department


NYS Department of Corrections


NYS National Guard


NYS Office of the Attorney General


New York State Police*


New York County District Attorney’s Office


Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office


Rotterdam Police Department


Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office


Saratoga Springs Police Department


Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office*


Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office


Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office*


Schenectady Police Department


Troy Police Department


Warren County Sheriff’s Office


Warren County District Attorney’s Office


Washington County District Attorney’s Office


Washington County Sheriff’s Office


Watervliet Police Department


New York State agencies’ share sub-total




Illinois State agencies


Geneseo, IL Police Department


Henry County, IL State’s Attorney’s Office


Illinois State Police


Quad City Metro Enforcement Group, IL


Illinois State agencies’ share sub-total




California State agencies


Marin Major Crimes Task Force, CA


Petaluma, CA Police Department


Ross, CA Police Department


Santa Rosa, CA Police Department


California State agencies’ share sub-total




Federal agency




Federal agency’s share sub-total






* Additional items shared:

Truck valued at $18,755 went to NYS Police

Cargo Trailer valued at $3,895 went to Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office

Truck valued at $13,350 went to Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Richard Belliss prosecuted the case.

Currency seized during investigation

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