EDWARDSVILLE — The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office is in the process of possibly taking over the Canal Motel, where police have found at least three alleged clandestine drug laboratories.
The state’s attorney’s office has filed for forfeiture under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Control Act, the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act and the Illinois Drug Asset Forfeiture Procedure Act.
A Granite City police officer has submitted a sworn statement outlining several alleged illegal activities at the motel which is located at 3317 West Chain of Rocks Road, Granite City.
Named in the suit is Mavani and Sons, Inc., of Wood River, the owners. The motel operators could not be reached for comment.
The officer states in his affidavit that an owner or agent of the motel has been at the premises at the time of of an arrest for possession, manufacturing, concealment and sales of illegal drugs or was notified that the activity was going on.
“The owners of this property knew or should have known of the illegal drug related activity taking place at the property. In addition, many of the individuals involved in the illegal drug-related activity are long-term, permanent occupants, and the proceeds of these illegal drug sales are used to pay rent or boarding fees,” the affidavit states.
The statement lists some of the incidents. A charge was filed March 25 of possession of a controlled substance.
On two occasions in the past year, police found a clandestine methamphetamine lab, including dangerous chemicals.
On two other occasions the Illinois Department of Public Health has sent letters to the motel operators notifying them of the meth making operations.
A judge has issued an order for “constructive seizure,” which means the owners must preserve the property in its present state until a decision on the forfeiture is made.
County wants to seize control of Canal Motel
Prosecutors are wielding a series of state drug laws in an attempt to seize the Canal Motel and the Relax Inn, two Granite City motels that have been under investigation for years.
The Canal Motel, at 3317 W. Chain of Rocks Road, has been under investigation since at least July of 2012 when the Illinois Department of Public Health sent a letter to its owners notifying them that “a clandestine drug laboratory was found” in one of the rooms and “known hazardous chemicals and substances were seized and disposed of.” Parts of the letter were contained in a sworn statement filed recently by a Granite City police officer in support of the forfeiture.
Two months later, authorities found a body in another room and later determined that the deceased had died after ingesting heroin, benzodiazepines, and other drugs.
I.D.P.H. officials sent a similar letter on March 7, 2014, the same month the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office charged a 21-year-old local woman with unlawful participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and unlawful possession of meth.
The incidents violate the Illinois Controlled Substance Act, The Cannabis Control Act, the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act and/or the Drug Asset Forfeiture Act.
The Canal Motel is owned by Mavani & Sons, Inc., whose offices are in Wood River.
The affidavit in support of the forfeiture alleges that the owners, or one of their agents, was at the motel during the arrests or investigations and knew, or should have known, that illegal drug activity was taking place there.
A similar forfeiture notice was sent to the Velani Brothers Corp., a St. Peters, Mo. corporation that owns the Relax Inn, at 100 Niedringhaus Avenue in Granite City.
The sworn statement also mentions that a body was found in one of the rooms on May 14, 2013. An investigation found the death to be from acute intoxication with cocaine and hydromorophone.
Police allege that many of the people involved in the illegal drug activity are “long-term permanent occupants and the proceeds of these illegal drug sales are used to pay rent/boarding fees.”