Schenectady father, son in federal court on drug trafficking charges

Schenectady man sentenced for conspiracy to sell cocaine

Schenectady man sentenced for conspiracy to sell cocaine

A Schenectady father and son were in federal court on Tuesday for a sentencing and plea on cases related to their drug operations.

Jeffrey C. Civitello Sr., 52, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in prison for conspiring to traffic about 15 kilograms of cocaine in March and April of 2021.  Jeffrey C. Civitello Jr., 24, admitted to conspiring to traffic more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and possessing two firearms, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He will be sentenced in March in that case.

Both men were convicted after an 8-day trial in April for their role in the drug conspiracy.

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Oct. 21, 2021 searched the penthouse of Jeffrey C. Civitello Jr. They found 75 pounds of marijuana, mostly packaged in 1-pound bags. They also found $407,545 and a 14-karat Miami Cuban chain, according to prosecutors.

Police also found a Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle with a high-capacity magazine including numerous .22-caliber rounds. Civitello Jr. told police he needed the weapons in case someone attempted to steal the marijuana.  

Three other men were indicted in this conspiracy – Richard D. Sinde, of Fort Lee, N.J.; Christopher J. Kelly, of Brooklyn; and Robert J. Ingrao, of Lodi, N.J.

Kelly delivered 3 kilograms of cocaine to Civitello Sr. in Schenectady on March 29, 2021, and Kelly and Sinde distributed another 3 kilograms on March 31. In addition, the Civitellos ordered more cocaine and suggested that Kelly used a Jeep that had a special compartment in its trunk, called a “trap” to hide the drugs.

The DEA had placed a court-authorized tracker on the Jeep. Sinde then drove the Jeep from Schenectady to meet Kelly in Breezy Point, N.J., where he picked up the cocaine to deliver it.

Snide and Kelly loaded up the Jeep with cocaine. Ingrao drove that Jeep north on Interstate 87. New York State Police pulled it over on April 2, 2021 at the request of DEA and found the 9 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the compartment, prosecutors said.

Civitello Sr. must also serve 5 years of post-release supervision and forfeit $240,000. He has a previous conviction in 1999 for conspiring to distribute cocaine.

Civitello Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 12 in the cocaine case and on March 5, 2024 in the marijuana and guns case. He is set to receive 10 years in prison on the cocaine case and 10 years in prison on the marijuana case. Half of the sentence in the marijuana case will run consecutively to the other sentence, prosecutors said.

On July 28, Ingrao was sentenced to 37 months in prison, with 3 years of supervision to follow. On Aug. 21, Kelly was sentenced to 41 months in prison and fined $25,000.

Sinde will be sentenced on Dec. 19.