Man gets 14-year sentence for cocaine distribution ring with Schenectady ties

A New Jersey man who conspired with a Schenectady father and son to distribute cocaine was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison.

Richard “Richie” Sinde, 59, of Fort Lee, previously admitted to trafficking about 15 kilograms of cocaine in March and April 2021.

Snide, Jeffrey Civitello Sr. and Jeffrey C. Civitello Jr. were convicted following a trial on drug charges. Sinde has previous federal convictions for heroin trafficking and authorized use of stolen credit cards and prior state convictions for arson, enterprise corruption, conspiracy, and criminal tax fraud, prosecutors said. 

Christopher J. Kelly, of Brooklyn, and Robert J. Ingrao, of Lodi, New Jersey, were also involved in the conspiracy. Kelly and Sinde delivered three kilograms of cocaine to Civitello Sr. on March 29, and then another three on March 31. The Civitellos ordered more cocaine and suggested that it be stashed in a hidden compartment in his 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

A court-authorized tracker that DEA agents placed on the Jeep helped catch them in Greene County.

Civitello Sr. was sentenced to 10 years in prison and four years of post-release supervision.

Civitello Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced on March 5, 2024.

Kelly got 41 months in prison and Igrao got 37 months in prison.