ALBANY – Two New Jersey men have been charged in connection with an alleged cocaine conspiracy in Schenectady County after a traffic stop in April revealed nine kilograms of cocaine, federal prosecutors have said.
State Police made the discovery during an April 2 checkpoint on Interstate 87 in Greene County, where the driver of the vehicle initially said he was driving to Schenectady, authorities said.
Richard “Richie” Sinde, 56, of Fort Lee, NJ, and Robert “Bobby” Ingrao, 74, of Lodi, NJ, have been charged. distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
If found guilty of the charges, they face at least 10 years in prison and up to life, officials said.
The investigation began just before noon on April 2 on Interstate 87 northbound in Greene County, according to allegations filed in court.
State police then arrested Ingrao for a glass tint violation, according to allegations in the criminal complaint. Ingrao reportedly relayed that he was on his way from a muffler store in New Jersey to Schenectady, to deliver the vehicle to his friend.
The soldier quickly determined that Ingrao did not have a valid driver’s license in New Jersey and had a suspended license in New York, according to the allegations.
While preparing the vehicle for towing, the soldier discovered a jacket with $ 20 bills rolled up inside that contained a residue of white powder, which the soldier believed to be cocaine. Ingrao would then have voluntarily declared that he was worried about “the drugs”, according to the allegations.
A K-9 soon arrived then helped search for the vehicle and alerted the trunk. Inside, soldiers found a fake compartment, or “trap,” which contained nine one-kilogram packages that tested positive for cocaine, according to the allegations.
Ingrao was then arrested. He and Sinde were then charged last month with the alleged conspiracy which lasted from March 29 to April 3 in Schenectady and Greene counties, officials said.
Sinde was arrested on Friday and released on conditions. Ingrao is due to be brought to justice later, officials said.
The case is being investigated by the DEA’s Capital District Anti-Drugs Task Force and is being pursued by Deputy U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.
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