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Press Release

New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Robert “Bobby” Ingrao, age 75, of Lodi, New Jersey, pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute cocaine, and to possessing 9 kilograms of cocaine and intending to deliver it to co-conspirators in Schenectady, New York.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.

Ingrao admitted that on March 31, 2021, he and co-conspirators drove to Schenectady in two cars in order to take possession of a third vehicle, a blue Jeep Grand Cherokee.  The blue Jeep contained a hidden compartment, or “trap,” in its trunk area. 

One of Ingrao’s co-conspirators then drove the blue Jeep from Schenectady to the New York City/northern New Jersey area.  At some point between the evening of March 31 and the morning of April 2, Ingrao’s co-conspirators placed 9 kilograms of cocaine in the blue Jeep’s hidden compartment.

On the morning of April 2, 2021, Ingrao drove the blue Jeep north from the New York City/northern New Jersey area, knowing that its hidden compartment contained 9 kilograms of cocaine, and intending to deliver that cocaine to other co-conspirators in Schenectady.

New York State Police conducted a traffic stop of Ingrao in Greene County, as he was driving the blue Jeep alone, north on Interstate 87.  Troopers then discovered 9 kilograms of cocaine in the blue Jeep’s hidden compartment.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 22, 2023.  Ingrao faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison, as well as at least 5 years of post-imprisonment supervised release.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

Three defendants still face charges in this case:

  • Richard “Richie” Sinde, age 57, of Fort Lee, New Jersey;
  • Jeffrey C. Civitello Sr., age 51, of Schenectady; and
  • Jeffrey C. Civitello Jr., age 23 of Schenectady.


They are scheduled to go on trial on April 17, 2023, before United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. As to these remaining defendants, the charges in the indictment are merely accusations. These defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the DEA’s Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force, which includes DEA Special Agents and investigators from state and local police agencies, including the Saratoga Springs Police Department, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

Updated November 21, 2022

Drug Trafficking