CAMDEN CITY, N.J. – An Atlantic City, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 150 months in prison for selling over 200 grams of crystal methamphetamine and for staging a fake robbery of a Union County, New Jersey, pawnshop for the purpose of perpetrating an insurance fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Salvatore “Sam” Piccolo, 68, of Atlantic City, a member of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra organized crime family, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with distribution more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and one count of wire fraud. Judge Kugler imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Piccolo distributed quantities of crystal methamphetamine to FBI undercover agents on three separate occasions between June 2017 and September 2017. On one occasion, he sold the undercover agent approximately four ounces of crystal methamphetamine in a restaurant parking lot in Sicklerville, New Jersey, in exchange for a $5,660 cash payment. On two other occasions in September 2017, FBI undercover agents purchased two ounce quantities of crystal methamphetamine from Piccolo in Atlantic City for cash payments of $2,800 for each transaction.
Piccolo also admitted that on April 19, 2014, he and an accomplice conspired to commit an insurance fraud. They entered a pawn shop in Union County, purportedly to sell some silver items. Once inside the shop, the accomplice displayed a hand gun while Piccolo, wearing a nylon mask, chained the front doors closed to prevent anyone from entering. The owner was bound, as a pretense, while Piccolo and his accomplice looted the safe of what the owner told police was approximately $60,000 in cash, several pieces of jewelry, and a hand gun. The owner later submitted to his insurance company a fraudulent loss claim that was paid for approximately $174,000.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Kugler sentenced Piccolo to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $174,025 in restitution to Northland Insurance of Minnesota.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the Criminal Division, Camden Office, and Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the U.S. Attorney's Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Louis Barbone Esq., Atlantic City