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Press Release

Former NYPD Officer Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Trafficking Large Quantities Of Imported Date Rape Drug And Methamphetamine

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

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that former New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) officer and Bronxville, New York resident JOHN CICERO was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas to 10 years in prison for distributing large quantities of imported gamma-butyrolactone (known as “GBL”) and methamphetamine in Westchester County and New York City.  CICERO previously pled guilty on October 13, 2021 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause, to one count of conspiring to distribute GBL and 50 grams of methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:  “A former NYPD police officer once sworn to protect the public, John Cicero spent years betraying his former law enforcement partners, enriching himself, and endangering the community by importing GBL, a dangerous liquid date-rape drug, from China and methamphetamine from Mexico and trafficking massive amounts of both throughout Westchester and New York City, including in Hell’s Kitchen and midtown-Manhattan around Penn Station.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of law enforcement, Cicero will serve a substantial sentence in prison for his callous crimes.”      

According to the Indictment, public court filings, and statements made in court:

Beginning in at least 2017 and lasting until his arrest in February 2020, CICERO and his co-conspirators stockpiled and sold liters of GBL and kilograms of methamphetamine in apartments, hotel rooms, and storage units in the heart of midtown Manhattan, and a residence in Bronxville, New York.  CICERO played a prominent and leadership role in the conspiracy, as the conspiracy’s top importer of GBL from China, and as someone who had direct access to the Mexico-based source of supply and with whom he arranged the receipt of and payment for methamphetamine.  CICERO also created and used fake identity documents and stolen credit cards to pay for, among other things, the luxury Manhattan hotel rooms where drugs were trafficked and used.  CICERO repeatedly brokered large-scale narcotics transactions over recorded prison calls with an inmate then in New York State custody.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection has previously seized GBL sent from China to CICERO’s address in New York.  CICERO held a supervisory role in the criminal activity, which involved over three kilograms of methamphetamine and 750 liters of GBL.  The charged conduct began years after CICERO left the NYPD.

On February 19, 2020, CICERO was arrested in a Wall Street hotel, in a room he had rented under a false identity.  In addition to methamphetamine and GBL, law enforcement recovered from CICERO’s room a bank card and a fake ID, bearing CICERO’s photograph, all in the name of the false identity to whom the room was rented.  As part of CICERO’s arrest, law enforcement also recovered detailed drug ledgers, sophisticated credit card making equipment, and notebooks full of victims’ personally identifiable information.

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In addition to the prison sentence, CICERO, 40, of Bronxville, New York, was sentenced to four years of supervised release and ordered to pay a forfeiture penalty of $216,262.50.

Earlier in the case, three of CICERO’s co-defendants pled guilty for their roles in the same conspiracy.  MARCO CASO, 50, of New York, New York and IRMA MATERASSO, 38, of New Rochelle, New York, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute GBL and 50 grams of methamphetamine and MATTHEW MATEO, 25, of the Bronx, New York, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute GBL and 500 grams of methamphetamine.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, which comprises agents and detectives from the FBI, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, Westchester County Police Department, Yonkers Police Department, Peekskill Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, New York Police Department, and U.S. Probation.  He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the New York State Department of Corrections Office of Special Investigations for their assistance.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys David R. Felton and Daniel G. Nessim are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
Victoria Bosah
(212) 637-2600

Updated April 12, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 22-115