Six Individuals Charged with Conspiring to Manufacture Marijuana
Approximately 4,360 Marijuana Plants Seized from Indoor Growing Operations
MAR 12 --– (Rockford) Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Stephen Luzinski, Acting Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Alvin Patton, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; Keith Nygren, McHenry County Sheriff; and Larry Lindeman, Director of the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, announcement several arrests and federal charges yesterday. The following individuals were arrested and charged in federal court in Rockford for conspiring to manufacture marijuana:
According to the criminal complaint filed on March 10, 2010 in Federal court, from October 1, 2008 to March 9, 2010, Robert S. Cain, Charles P. Persico, Jeffrey W. Romine, Jonathan S. Romine, Robert Stringini, and Loretta A. Cattani conspired to manufacture more than 1000 plants of marijuana. As set forth in the complaint, on March 9, 2010, pursuant to federal search warrants, agents and officers seized approximately 2200 marijuana plants from a residence in the 7900 block of Maple Street in Marengo, Illinois and approximately 2160 marijuana plants from a residence in the 17600 block of Kishwaukee Valley Road, in Woodstock, Illinois. Agents also seized items used to cultivate and grow marijuana plants from both of the residences.
All six defendants appeared before United States Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney on March 10, 2010. Robert Cain, Charles Persico, Jeffrey Romine, Jonathan Romine and Robert Stringini were ordered to be detained without bond pending detention and preliminary hearings. The detention hearings are scheduled as follows: Cain, March 15, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.; Persico, March 15, 2010 at 10:00 a.m., Jeffrey Romine, March 12, 2010 at 3:00 p.m., Jonathan Romine, March 12, 2010 at 3:30 p.m., and Stringii, March 12, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Cattani was ordered released after a bond hearing and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on March 26, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.
The charge contained in the complaint carries a minimum possible sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum term of life imprisonment. In addition, each defendant could be fined up to $4,000,000. If convicted, each defendant’s actual sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Defendants sentenced in federal court are not eligible for parole.
This case was jointly investigated by the Rockford Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department, and the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group. The case in federal court is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.
Members of the public are reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government will have the burden of proving his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.