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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Williamsville Man Who Teaches At Buffalo High School Arrested With Drugs, Guns And Explosives

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Masecchia, 53, of Williamsville, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, marijuana, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on August 23, 2019, investigators from Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Erie County Sheriff's Office, and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on Main Street in Williamsville.

During the search of the residence, investigators seized:

• Two rifles, five shotguns, and a pistol;
• Various ammunition for the firearms;
• Seven homemade explosives;
• Three Mason jars containing marijuana;
• Various steroids in liquid and tablet form;
• Hypodermic  needles;
• THC edibles;
• Cannabis syrup;
• Two grams of a white powder suspected to be cocaine;
• Tylenol with Codeine tablets;
• Suspected hashish;
• A digital scale;
• A suspected marijuana cigarette;
• Numerous plastic bags and small bottles containing marijuana; and
• Four cell phones.

Investigators also recovered $27,950.00 in U.S. currency, which was discovered hidden in clothing and rubber banded in two bundles. A narcotics detection canine later alerted for the odor of a controlled substance on the currency.

According to Erie County Sheriff's records, one of the shotguns was reported stolen on September 23, 2015.

Investigators also discovered marijuana and a marijuana smoking pipe inside a vehicle registered to the defendant.

The complaint further states that, based on information developed during this investigation, Masecchia has been involved in the growing and distribution of significant quantities of marijuana for at least the past 20 years.

The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and was released on conditions.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the Erie County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff James Voutour; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of John B. Devito.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated August 29, 2019