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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Former Utica Man Sentenced on Marijuana and Money Laundering Convictions

Gary Velletto was a manager of largescale, multi-state marijuana and money laundering operations

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Gary Velletto, age 38, formerly of Utica, New York, and Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for his roles in marijuana and money laundering conspiracies.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Between January 2011 and August 2015, in the Northern District of New York, the District of Nevada, and elsewhere, Velletto conspired with Las Vegas resident Anthony Wills and others to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.  As part of the conspiracy, Velletto, together with Wills and other co-conspirators, frequently obtained distribution-sized amounts of marijuana from different sources of supply in California and shipped or caused to be shipped the marijuana to various parts of the United States including the Utica area. Velletto admitted that as a result of his participation in the marijuana conspiracy, he was personally responsible for more than 100 but less than 400 kilograms of marijuana.

To pay for the marijuana that was shipped to Velletto in Utica, Velletto deposited or caused others to deposit money into various bank accounts, some held in the names of third-party nominees, in and around Utica.  The cash was then withdrawn immediately in Las Vegas by Wills, or by others at his direction, and the money was used in part to purchase more marijuana from sources of supply in Northern California to be shipped back to Utica for or on behalf of Velletto.  

Velletto also mailed, or caused others to mail on his behalf, cash or blank money orders to Las Vegas as payment for the marijuana, which cash and blank money orders were deposited by Wills or by others at Wills’s direction into bank accounts, often held by third-party nominees, and which money was used to purchase more marijuana.

Velletto admitted that as a result of his participation in the money laundering conspiracy, he was responsible for $1,274,310.00, in that he laundered this amount or the laundering of this amount by others was reasonably foreseeable to him.  

Velletto, who has been incarcerated since his arrest in January 2016, entered his guilty pleas on September 13, 2016.  After he finishes his term of imprisonment, Velletto will be placed on supervised release for 5 years.  Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby also ordered that Velletto pay a $1,274,310 money judgment.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Police, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Eurenius and Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Grant Garramone, who also serves as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 20, 2019