Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ANTHONY GRECCO, a New Jersey resident, was found guilty today of robbing and murdering Ryan Ennis, a resident of Ossining, New York, and of conspiring to distribute marijuana and heroin. Following a nine-day trial before the Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, a jury found that GRECCO traveled on August 26, 2014 from New Jersey to Ossining, where he robbed and murdered Ennis in furtherance of GRECCO’s narcotics trafficking activities.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Anthony Grecco took a human life, violently murdering Ryan Ennis, for a few thousand dollars. Today, a unanimous jury reached a swift verdict, holding Grecco accountable for his callous crime. I want to thank our local and federal law enforcement partners for making this conviction possible.”
As established by the evidence at trial:
GRECCO was a marijuana dealer based in New Jersey. As of the spring of 2014, one of his customers was Ryan Ennis, 25, who had been purchasing marijuana from GRECCO and reselling it in the area around Ossining, New York. By late summer 2014, GRECCO’s marijuana supply had dried up and he became desperate for cash.
GRECCO set up a meeting with Ennis on the pretense that he would be bringing more marijuana for Ennis. In fact, GRECCO intended to rob Ennis, and kill him if necessary, in order to get money. He wanted that money not only because he was strapped for cash, but because he intended to invest in the heroin business of another drug dealer in New Jersey. In preparation for the meeting with Ennis, GRECCO obtained a knife and stuffed a backpack full of linens so that Ennis would not realize that GRECCO had arrived without any marijuana.
On August 26, 2014, GRECCO drove with two accomplices from New Jersey to an apartment complex in Ossining, where Ennis was waiting alone in his father’s apartment. After arriving in Ossining, while the other two individuals waited outside, GRECCO went into the apartment and robbed Ennis. In the course of the robbery, GRECCO stabbed Ennis repeatedly and slashed his throat, killing him. GRECCO took $8,900 – the cash that Ennis had prepared for the marijuana deal – as well as a cellphone and a hat, from Ennis. After the murder, GRECCO returned to New Jersey, where he showered and threw away the blood-stained clothes that he had been wearing in an attempt to cover his tracks.
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GRECCO was found guilty on all five counts in the Indictment, namely, (1) conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery; (2) Hobbs Act robbery; (3) conspiracy to distribute marijuana; (4) conspiracy to distribute heroin; and (5) Travel Act murder. Sentencing is scheduled for May 25, 2016. GRECCO faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The statutory maximum penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of GRECCO will be determined by the judge.
U.S. Attorney Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Village of Ossining Police Department and the FBI’s Westchester County Violent Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the FBI, the Westchester County Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Peekskill Police Department, the New York City Police Department, and the City of Yonkers Police Department.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gerber, Scott Hartman, and George Turner are in charge of the prosecution.