PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Frank Nicholas Pellegrino, 35, of Staten Island, New York, was sentenced on October 29, 2008 by U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Pellegrino pleaded guilty on August 22, 2008.
Pellegrino was charged with one count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and one count of Conspiracy with Intent to Commit Money Laundering. Pellegrino would travel from New York to Phoenix to arrange for the transportation by couriers of marijuana he purchased in Arizona. When the drugs arrived in New York, Pellegrino and his associates would distribute the drugs in bulk quantity. During a 2-month period in 2001, Pellegrino had shipped over 3000 pounds of marijuana into New York. Following those shipments government agents seized $430,000 from one of Pellegrino’s associates, which monies have been forfeited.
While trafficking marijuana, Pellegrino was also involved in the trafficking of cocaine. Pellegrino and his associates were apprehended by federal authorities in New York and found in possession of 56 kilograms of cocaine. Additionally, $530,000 was located in his Staten Island residence. Federal authorities in New York charged Pellegrino with Conspiracy to Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine. Prior to his Arizona marijuana guilty plea and sentence, Pellegrino pleaded guilty to the New York charge in the Southern District of New York. On October 21, 2005, the district court judge in New York sentenced Pellegrino to 15 years, 8 months prison, and forfeited the $530,000 as well as Pellegrino’s Staten Island residence.
The investigation was conducted Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution was handled by Steven P. Logan and Michael A. Lee, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-03-0804-PHX-DGC
RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-284(Pellegrino)