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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
March 3, 2003

For Further Information:
Contact: Elizabeth Jordan
(212) 620-4930

New Rochelle Bar Raids Results in 24 Arrests

Anthony P. Placido, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Office, Patrick Carroll, Police Commissioner, City of New Rochelle and Jeanine Pirro, Westchester County District Attorney, announced today the dismantling of a drug trafficking organization operating in the New Rochelle and Village of Mamaroneck areas.

This fourteen month long joint investigation resulted in the arrest of 24 individuals on drug and gambling charges, including the alleged ringleader, Nicholas Vareltzis, of 974 East Boston Post Road, Village of Mamaroneck. Vareltzis was arrested in his home where police seized over a pound of cocaine, a shotgun and over $30,000 in cash. It is alleged that Vareltzis conducted a cocaine and marijuana trafficking operation from the 2nd floor of 974 East Boston Post Road which also housed the Tollgate Steakhouse owned by Vareltzis. It is estimated that Vareltzie sold up to $500,000, worth of narcotics annually.

Police also executed search warrants at two New Rochelle taverns: Silkie's, located at 454 Main Street and the Galway Bay II at 77 Pelham Road. Ten individuals were arrested inside the bars. Cocaine, marijuana, a Joker Poker machine and cash ere seized at each location. Police believe Vareltzis is a de facto owner of the Galway Bar II along with Steven Ryder, of New Rochelle. Ryder, who surrendered this morning, was charged with Possession of a Gambling Device after police discovered a gambling operation at the Galway Bar. Valerie Miceli, of New Rochelle, was also charged with Possession of a Gambling Device for her role in a similar gambling operation at Silkie's. The complaint alleges that on various days since January 2002, four individuals sold cocaine over the counter or in plain view at the two New Rochelle bars.

Over 75 law enforcement officers from DEA, the New Rochelle Police Department and Westchester DANI lead the execution of 16 search warrants Friday, February 28 at approximately 8:45 PM. Investigators from the New York State Police, the New York State Liquor Authority, the Internal Revenue Service, the Westchester County Police and police departments from Mamaroneck Village, Mamaroneck Town, Harrision and Yonkers assisted in the take down. Assets and cash seized as a result total over $400,000.

If convicted of the top count, Vareltzis faces a maximum of life in prison.

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