Couple who admitted growing cannabis get 1st-offender probation

Couple who admitted growing cannabis get 1st-offender probation

URBANA — An Urbana husband and wife who admitted having cannabis in the basement of their burned home have been sentenced to first-offender probation.

If Vincent Durso, 29, and Maggie Durso, 24, successfully complete the terms of their two years of probation without further legal difficulties, they'll have no record of a conviction.

The two pleaded guilty Friday before Judge Roger Webber to possession with intent to deliver more than 10 but less than 30 grams of cannabis.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Larson said the charge stemmed from a May 1 fire at their home in the 1200 block of North Berkley Avenue.

Firefighters arrived about 4:20 p.m. that Tuesday to find flames coming from their basement. While putting out the fire, firefighters found multiple cannabis plants and evidence of an ongoing growing operation in the basement.

Larson said the couple cooperated with firefighters and police, and admitted growing the cannabis to distribute.

They pleaded guilty to a Class 4 felony, reduced from the initial charge of a Class 2 felony. Larson also dismissed a second misdemeanor count of possession of more than five cannabis plants.

Each will also have to pay fines, fees and costs of about $6,000, get a substance abuse evaluation and perform 30 hours of public service. They also agreed to forfeit other contraband seized to the Urbana police.

Larson said neither Durso had any other convictions.

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