Biker gets no prison for pot trafficking

Nov. 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM

ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- An ex-champion mountain biker arrested in upstate New York for helping transport hundreds of pounds of marijuana across the country will not serve prison time.

Melissa "Missy" Giove was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Gary L. Sharpe to time served, six months of home detention and five years' supervised release, the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union reported.

Giove, of Norfolk, Va., was arrested in June 2009 after DEA agents saw her and a Wilton, N.Y., man unload a trailer that police said had contained 350 pounds of marijuana.

Giove, 39, had been paid $30,000 plus travel expenses to coordinate the transportation of the marijuana across the country, court records state.

She could have received up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges in 2009.

Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of 24 to 30 months with at least four years' post-release supervision and a $25,000 fine.

Giove apologized before sentencing.

"I am extremely sorry and remorseful," she said. "I realize I was a role model to certain people. I'm really sorry for making the wrong decisions. I just want to move forward."

She retired from mountain bike racing in 2003.

Her attorney, Tim Austin, said head injuries forced Giove to retire and drained her financially, which he said played a role her decision to traffic marijuana.

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