A Parisi Bakery scion and an elderly Gambino family captain are among a crew busted in a $15 million cross-country pot-distribution operation, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Massive loads of high-end prescription reefer were shipped from legal farms in California to New York City, where ringleaders John Kelly, 52, and Richard Sinde, 51, oversaw distribution to sellers, authorities said.
The conspiracy used shipping lines, FedEx parcels and cars to import high-end prescription pot, grown by legal farms in the “Emerald Triangle” in Northern California, cops said.
“They were overgrowing during their natural harvest season. They also used hydroponics inside, and also they grew this marijuana inside of greenhouses,” said Inspector John Denesopolis of the NYPD’s Criminal Enterprise Investigation Unit. “They were doing it in excess of the amount they were allowed.”
Sinde previously pleaded guilty in a Bonanno enterprise corruption case in Manhattan and is serving a two- to six-year prison sentence upstate, records show.
About two-dozen defendants were indicted on charges relating to a pot-peddling conspiracy, an Oxycodone business, tax fraud and an online gambling enterprise.
Frank Parisi, 60, is accused of possessing more than 20 pounds of marijuana. He had packing supplies in an apartment that shares a building with the iconic Italian bakery in Nolita, according to an indictment.
“Mr. Parisi’s role was to distribute that on the streets of New York,” Assistant District Attorney Brian Foley said at Parisi’s arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Parisi’s attorney described him as a “fourth generation” member of the family that famously runs an old world bread shop and deli a few blocks from the courthouse where Parisi sat in handcuffs.
“He works every day, every hour, every week in that bakery,” said lawyer Jeremy Schneider.
Bail was set at $50,000 for Parisi.
Parisi is also accused of participating in a $1 million gambling racket based at Bklynsportscenter.com, along with co-defendants Frank Galesi, 50, Carl Muraco, 52, and Stephen Gallo, 64.
Several defendants hail from four of the city’s five Mafia families, police said. Reputed mobster Michael (Mickey Boy) Paradiso, 76, of Staten Island, faces a conspiracy count in the marijuana case. He has not yet seen a judge.
Larwrence Dentico of La Jolla, Calif., the 33-year-old grandson of Genovese capo Lawrence Dentico, was also busted, as were two Colombo associates and a Gambino associate.
Arraignments will continue in front of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Neil Ross. Six of the nearly two dozen people arrested in the various indictments were charged with tax fraud for failing to report illegal profits. Four were also charged in an Oxycodone distribution ring.