Thursday, October 16, 2008
Pot Plants, Guns Seized During House Raid
104th Pct Crime Report Includes Robbery, Burglary Arrest
By Conor Greene
An investigation by the 104th Precinct’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit led to the arrest of a married couple and their two children on charges they grew marijuana in their 72nd Place home.
The investigation into drug activity inside 53-30 72nd Place ended at about 6 a.m. Tuesday when officers from the precinct, armed with a search warrant, and members of the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit raided the home.
In addition to several pot plants, officers found two unlicensed guns, a stash of fireworks and an MTA police badge. As a result, the husband and wife who live there, Richard Stancati and his wife, Hope Stancati, both 53, were arrested along with two sons, Jason, 24 and Jessie, 19, according to police.
On Wednesday, the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the four defendants were being held pending arraignment in criminal court on charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree possession of marijuana, unlawfully dealing with fireworks and growing cannabis.
The top counts are each punishable by up to seven years in prison, and the lesser charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in prison, according to Brown’s office.
Among the items recovered at the house were two pot plants from the backyard, six plants from a fish tank on the roof, one plant from a backyard table, one from an alleyway next to the house and two others from the roof.
Police also found a glass vial containing marijuana in a drawer in the son’s bedroom. In addition, police recovered a stash of fireworks from a backyard shed, according to the district attorney’s office.
According to sources, the family became known to precinct after Richard Stancati got into an altercation with employees at Maspeth Town Hall after a ball accidentally went over a wall and into his yard.
Hope Stancati was previously quoted in The Forum West regarding her efforts to fight against a cellular tower proposed for her neighborhood, which is near Maspeth Town Hall. She is among a group of residents who don’t think it is appropriate to place the cellular tower on top of a house in the residential area.
The arrests were made by Officer Alison Potokin of the precinct’s SNEU team.
Man Charged in Gym Burglary
A Middle Village man with an extensive criminal record has been charged with breaking into a Ridgewood fitness center, according to police.
John Maggi, 37, of 58-37 80th Street, was charged with third-degree burglary and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia after police caught him breaking into a Dolphin Gym branch on Myrtle Avenue.
According to the 104th Precinct, a witness called police to report that somebody had thrown a brick through a glass door at the rear of the building at about 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday. Officers found money allegedly taken from the gym in Maggi’s pocket after finding him at the scene, said police.
Man Mugged on Ridgewood Street
A man was accosted and robbed by three men while walking along a local street early Sunday morning, according to police. The suspects are still at large.
The victim was walking near Seneca Avenue and Himrod Street at about 4:45 a.m. Sunday morning when three unidentified men approached him from behind, according to the 104th Precinct.
One of the suspects identified himself as a “detective” and told the man not to move. The perpetrators then threw the victim against a wall and went through his pockets, removing cash. They fled in a grey sedan, but the victim was unable to provide police with a description of his attackers or their getaway car.
The NYPD is continuing to investigate the incident since one of the suspects identified himself as a police officer.