A California man will see his cannabis-related charges move forward in Henry County Circuit Court following a preliminary hearing Monday.
Timothy J. Marino, 57, of Santa Ana, California, was charged Nov. 19, 2018, with Class X felony cannabis trafficking, Class X felony possession with intent to deliver and Class 1 possession of cannabis.
Illinois State Police Trooper Andrew Fratzke testified that on Nov. 19 he stopped Marino's vehicle on Interstate 80 for following a semi too closely and failing to signal a lane change. Fratzke said he believed Marino was involved in some kind of criminal activity due to his heavy breathing, appearing overly nervous and the one-way rental vehicle being from a source state due three days after the traffic stop. Marino's K-9 unit also alerted on the vehicle.
Fratzke said Marino told him he was planning to spend a week visiting family in Pennsylvania. About 31 pounds of a substance that field-tested positive for cannabis was found in the trunk of the vehicle, and 48 marijuana plants were on the front passenger floorboard.
According to Fratzke, Marino said his son had brought him the vehicle in California already loaded, and he was taking it to Pennsylvania. He said there was medical marijuana in the vehicle. He added that Marino told investigators he knew the cannabis was in the trunk.
Judge Jeffrey O'Connor on Monday found probable cause to believe a felony had been committed and set a Feb. 20 pre-trial hearing.