River North club owner who faced drug distribution charges gets probation

An owner of the River North dance club Spybar who faced drug distribution charges following a raid on his home one year ago was sentenced to probation this week, according to court records.

Dino Gardiakos, 42, reached a deal with prosecutors that resulted in him pleading guilty to one count of possessing a controlled substance. The state dropped four felony charges that alleged manufacture-delivery and an additional possession charge.

Dino Gardiakos at Spybar | Facebook

Judge Timothy Joyce sentenced Gardiakos to two years of second chance probation and ordered him to perform 30 hours of community service.

Last May, federal agents intercepted a suspicious package from the United Kingdom addressed to Gardiakos’ home and found 2-1/4 pounds of ketamine inside, Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Burkhardt said during a bond hearing in May 2021.

The agents resealed the box and arranged to have it delivered to Gardiakos’ home in West Town by agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

At Gardiakos’ home, a man who identified himself as “Michael” accepted the package and told the delivery person that Gardiakos, the addressed recipient, was the only person who lived there, Burkhardt said. Agents soon received an alert that someone opened the box and they immediately executed an anticipatory search warrant on Gardiakos’ home.

Prosecutors last year alleged that the search of Gardiakos’ home turned up $240,000 worth of drugs, including more than 11 pounds of cannabis, nearly 9 pounds of THC concentrate, one pound of psilocybin mushrooms, and an additional quarter-pound of ketamine.

Agents and deputies also seized $25,000 cash, narcotics packaging materials, a scale, ledgers, and other materials related to narcotics distribution, according to Burkhardt.

Gardiakos has reportedly owned the club at 646 North Franklin for 17 years.

After Gardiakos pleaded guilty, prosecutors dropped charges of manufacture-delivery of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, manufacture-delivery of 2,000 to 5,000 grams of cannabis, manufacture-delivery of ketamine, manufacture-delivery of a Schedule I or II narcotic, and possession of a controlled substance, according to court records.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com