The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Ronald Belciano, age 42, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania was sentenced today by United States District Court Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner in Harrisburg to 63 months’ imprisonment and 4 years supervised release of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana in and through central Pennsylvania and conspiracy to commit money laundering between December 2007 and November 2011.
According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, in 2011 Belciano rented a vehicle and paid a co-conspirator to drive the vehicle, containing $1,184,340 in U.S. currency, from Pennsylvania to California to pay for marijuana, some of which was grown on Belciano’s 190 acre property in Northern California. Agents obtained a search warrant for one of Belciano’s homes, located in Villanova, Pennsylvania. During the search, agents located $2, 582,920 in U.S. currency and 1.5 kilograms of marijuana. Law enforcement agents later located 68 kilograms of marijuana, $316,800 in U.S. currency and 59 paintings valued at over $600,000 in a storage locker and at a co-conspirator’s farm in Douglasville, Pennsylvania, used to warehouse and distribute the marijuana transported from California to Pennsylvania. Belciano was indicted by a grand jury in November 2011 and plead guilty in February 2014.
The assets seized and forfeited in this case, including a residence, a 190-acre property in Laytonville, California, the artwork obtained with proceeds of the illegal activity and later appraised at over $619,000, and $4,084,060 in U.S. currency.
Co-defendant Stephen Fanfera is scheduled for sentencing on January 22, 2015. Fifty thousand dollars in cash was forfeited in lieu of the equity in his Douglasville property. In a related case prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, a Villinova art dealer Nathan Isen was charged with money laundering on January 8, 2015.
“Today’s sentencing concludes a long term investigation on a drug trafficker who was living on the Main Line of Philadelphia,” said John Kelleghan, HSI Philadelphia special agent in charge. “When HSI, the Pennsylvania State Police, the United States Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigations, Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office are able to seize over $4 million in cash, narcotics, and other assets derived from distributing narcotics from a main line drug trafficker, we know we have successfully dismantled a large scale sophisticated organization.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations/High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area/Financial Group which includes members from the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigations, Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom.