Algonquin man sentenced to prison for money laundering, marijuana possession
An Algonquin man accused of using more than $500,000 in drug proceeds from marijuana sales to buy gold, silver and bitcoin over several years was sentenced to prison Thursday.
Christopher Galie, 36, pleaded guilty to the felony marijuana possession and money laundering June 8 as part of a negotiated plea deal, court records show. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed 14 additional charges related to violating an order of protection, money laundering and possession of marijuana, including with the intent to deliver.
McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge sentenced Galie Thursday to eight years in prison for felony possession of marijuana, of which he'll have to serve at least 50%, and to five years for money laundering, also a felony and for which he'll have to serve at least 75%, according to the judge's order.
The sentences are to be served at the same time, which means Galie could be released in as few as four years.
The investigation began in July 2019, when McHenry County sheriff's deputies arrested Galie and his wife, Kerriann Galie, on felony marijuana delivery charges, the Northwest Herald reported in June 2020.
The McHenry County sheriff's office had been investigating the sale of "bulk amounts" of marijuana in the McHenry County area, according to a news release issued by the McHenry County state's attorney's office Monday. As part of the investigation, a search warrant was executed on Galie's residence where about 68 pounds of marijuana products were found.
The case against Galie's wife, Kerriann Galie, 35, is ongoing, and a status hearing is scheduled for July 29, court records show.
She has pleaded not guilty to possession and possession with the intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of marijuana, as well as criminal conspiracy related to the planned sale of 500 to 2,000 grams of marijuana, according to the indictment.
After arresting the Galies in June 2019, the sheriff's office began a money laundering investigation and found Christopher Galie laundered more than $500,000 in drug sales during several years, according to the news release.
Officers successfully pursued these assets through multiple cryptocurrency exchanges based in the U.S., Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and the Netherlands, ultimately seizing about $650,000 worth of cryptocurrency, according to the release. The sheriff's office also seized nearly $250,000 in U.S. currency and other assets, including gold and silver bars, now valued at about $150,000.
This property was all forfeited to the state of Illinois under the Drug Asset Forfeiture Act, according to the release. Other property, including a blue 2016 Subaru Legacy, and an Algonquin house was returned to Christopher Galie, court records show.