Niagara Falls Pizza Parlor Center Of Cocaine Ring
Attorney General Spitzer, Niagara County District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III and Niagara Falls Police Superintendent of Police John Chella today announced that 46 individuals were arrested this morning and are facing charges ranging from the possession and sale of cocaine to conspiracy.
The investigation commenced with a probe into cocaine sales at Mister Sepe's Pizza, a well-known local pizza parlor operated by two brothers, Paul and Christopher Sepe. It is alleged that since September of 2003, the Main Street business was a point of sale and distribution for cocaine, which was transported to Western New York from New York City and Canada, and was later sold in Niagara County.
Among those charged in the indictment, which was unsealed today in Niagara County Court by the Honorable Sara Sperrazza are: Russell Sepe, 36; Christopher Sepe, 32; Christopher Scrivano, 41; Joseph Magliazzo, 25; Christopher Diehl, 47; Tyrone "Dwayne" Rowe, 36, all of Niagara Falls; Christopher Cauley, 35, of Lewiston; and John Pietrangelo, 40, of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The charges result from a year-long joint investigation by the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force and the City of Niagara Falls Police Department.
Cauley and Pietrangelo are charged as the primary suppliers to the ring. An earlier indictment led to the arrest of Cauley on charges of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First and Second Degrees, both are class "A" felonies. If convicted of the most serious charges against them Cauley, Rowe, and Pietrangelo could face life in prison.
Russell and Christopher Sepe, Scrivano, Reed, Magliazzo, and Diehl are all charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class "B" felony. If convicted, they potentially face up to 25 years in prison.
"Drug trafficking unfortunately extends across the entire state," Spitzer said. "It can occur anywhere. That is why I will continue to devote the resources and expertise of the Organized Crime Task Force to work cooperatively with tough prosecutors like District Attorney Murphy, and local law enforcement to cut-off the supply of cocaine and crack to our communities."
Superintendent of the Niagara Falls Police John R. Chella said: "The Niagara Falls Police Department's Narcotics and Intelligence Division feels this investigation was successful in targeting mid- to upper-level dealers of narcotics in Niagara Falls. Without the assistance of the New York State Attorney General's Office Organize Crime Task Force it would have been difficult to be as successful as we were today."
During the course of the investigation, police recovered approximately thirty-six ounces of cocaine. The street value of this seizure ranges from $75,000 - $100,000. The investigation also resulted in the arrest of 38 defendants who were charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class "B" felony. Arrested and arraigned today were:
Terrence T. Cole, 30; Anthony L. Cheff, 46; Carol Cheff, 47; Joseph L. Cirrito, 41; Michael J. Cirrito, 32; Donald Corbett, 49; David D'Amico, 45; Michael F. Dell, 42; Christopher D. Diehl, 47; Shawn R. Fields, 33; Arthur J. Gromoll, 50; Sheri L. Kilmer, 25; David Knack, 26; Lenore Laughlin, 37; Russell "Rusty" Laughlin, 39; Lori Lozina, 30; Steve "Ralphie" Lucour, 34; Enrico "Tony" Marcolini, 50; Joseph W. Magliazzo, 25; Kimberly Maio, 46; Mary Jo Metro-Diehl, 35; Gary Newbury, 54; Daniel Rhoney, 45; Christopher J. Scrivano, 41; Robert J. Seger, 27; Paul Sepe, 38; Melissa "Missy" Skye, 29; John M. Tench, 34; Carl Turner, 32; Christopher Villani, 36; and Douglas R. Waney, 53, all of Niagara Falls; Chuck A. O'Brien, 38, of Gasport; Mark D. Hickey, 53, of Lewiston, NY; Lorene A. Bocchicchia, 40, and Lindsay M. Pembleton, 19, both of Plantation, Florida; Jeffrey P. Marsh, 29, and Ashley E. Pembleton, 20, both of Lake Worth, Florida; and Brian Casler, 35, of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Patricia I.. Carrington of the Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General In-Charge of OCTF Christopher Prather. The investigation was led by Supervising Investigator Peter J. Talty of the OCTF, along with the City of Niagara Falls Police Department.