Thursday, June 18, 2009
MOUNTAIN BIKE CHAMPION PART OF WILTON POT BUST
WILTON - Former mountain biking world champion Melissa "Missy" Giove was in custody Thursday on federal drug charges after authorities said they seized more than 200 pounds of marijuana from a truck she was driving.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials said Wednesday that the 37-year-old Giove, of Chesapeake, Va., and 30-year-old Eric Canori of Wilton were charged Tuesday with conspiring to possess and distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
Authorities said they seized nearly 400 pounds of pot from the truck and from Canori's home outside Saratoga Springs.
Giove and Canori were in the custody of U.S. Marshals pending detention hearings Thursday afternoon in Albany.
DEA spokeswoman Erin Mulvey said authorities learned of Giove and Canori's plans last weekend when Illinois State Police pulled over a woman driving a truck and trailer loaded with about 220 pounds of marijuana. Authorities completed the delivery to the Albany area, where Mulvey said Giove picked up the vehicle and trailer.
Officials said Giove then drove north and followed Canori to his home, where some of the trailer's contents were unloaded.
Giove was later arrested at nearby Saratoga Lake, authorities said. A search of Canori's home turned up more than 150 pounds of pot and more than $1 million in cash stashed in a closet and the basement, the DEA said.
It couldn't be immediately determined Thursday morning if Giove and Canori had lawyers.
Giove, nicknamed "The Missile" for her aggressive riding style, was the downhill world champion in 1994 and won World Cup season titles in '97 and '98, then captured national titles from 1999-2001. One of the sport's first mainstream female stars, she retired from downhill racing in 2003.