McHenry woman gets 2 years probation for criminal conspiracy of marijuana

Defense attorney says the evidence against her ‘was pretty weak’

The Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center in Woodstock houses McHenry County's courts.

A McHenry woman entered a guilty plea Wednesday to criminal conspiracy of marijuana and was sentenced to two years of probation, according to documents in the McHenry County courthouse.

Tiffany Barnett, 37, was initially charged with Anthony J. Riotto with manufacturing and delivery of marijuana, a Class X felony, as well as possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana, according to court documents.

In exchange for her guilty plea to the conspiracy charge, a Class 3 felony, the additional initial charges were dismissed.

“The evidence against her was pretty weak,” Barnett’s attorney Matthew Haiduk said after the hearing. “This law is basically an archaic law that won’t even be viable in 10 years. She was charged with being a part of an unlicensed dispensary. It is ridiculous she is charged with these crimes and that is why the state was willing to reduce it.”

Barnett also is required to pay $4,240 in fines and fees.

In 2022, Riotto, 38, pleaded guilty to possessing more than 5,000 grams of marijuana and was sentenced to two years of felony probation. The additional Class X felony charge against him also was dismissed.

If convicted on the Class X felony, the pair could have faced up to 30 years in prison.

The initial charges alleged the couple, who lived at the same address in McHenry, were in possession of the illegal amounts of marijuana on March 17, 2021.

On March 12, 2021, a confidential informant contacted the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office reporting drugs were possibly being “distributed” from the home where Barnett and Riotto lived, according to a motion filed in the courthouse.

That information led to sheriff’s deputies surveilling the property. About 3 p.m. March 17, Riotto left the residence in his vehicle and deputies stopped him. During the stop, he called Barnett. He was arrested after the stop, which also involved an interview and search of his vehicle, according to the motion.

The stop also led to Barnett’s arrest.