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Buffalo teacher was drug dealer with ties to organized crime, prosecutors say |  Crime News

“Masecchia and others were also involved in marijuana grow operations in Ellicottville and Franklinville, Cattaraugus County,” said US Attorney James P. Kennedy. “In addition, the accused possessed firearms to protect himself, his products and the property where he stored marijuana and coins.”

Among the items seized in a 2019 raid at the teacher’s home were $ 27,950 in cash, eight guns, ammunition, three mason jars of marijuana, various steroids in liquid and tablet form, hypodermic needles, two grams of suspected cocaine, Tylenol with codeine tablets, suspected hashish and four cell phones.

In court, Masecchia admitted that he had been selling marijuana since 1999 and had distributed over a ton of marijuana during that time. And he said he “and others” in the drug trade had the help of a federal agent, Joseph Bongiovanni.

As part of his plea deal, Masecchia said Bongiovanni had helped him and other drug traffickers avoid arrest by providing “sensitive information to law enforcement,” including the names of potential cooperating witnesses.

Bongiovanni, who resigned from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 2019 and faces corruption charges, denies aiding drug traffickers. In court documents, Bongiovanni’s defense attorneys said he stayed away from Masecchia because Masecchia had a “bad streak” and “was prone to fights and petty trafficking. and drug use.


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