Buffalo Teacher, Drug Dealer Linked to Corrupt DEA Agent and ‘Italian Organized Crime’
This is something straight out of a movie! A Buffalo English teacher, who allegedly moonlighted as a drug dealer, has been linked in Federal court to a corrupt DEA agent. Both are linked to 'Italian Organized Crime.'
Buffalo teacher Michael Masecchia, who is an alleged drug dealer, has also been linked to 'Italian Organized Crime,' according to The Buffalo News. He taught English at Grover Cleveland High School, according to WKBW. Court papers claim that Masecchia is a member of the Buffalo LCN Family. LCN stands for La Costra Nostra, a phrase meaning "our thing," used to describe the first Sicilian mafia families in the United States, according to the FBI. Joseph Bongiovanni, a former agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency, has been indicted with helping members and leaders of organized crime in a Buffalo 'mob.'
"Behind La Cosa Nostra are Italian organizations - the four Italian Organized Crime (OC) groups currently active in the United States are the Sicilian Mafia, Camorra, 'Ndrangheta and Sacra Corona Unita' (United Sacred Crown). Members of these organizations came to America in the 1960's and associated themselves with La Cosa Nostra. Since this time these groups have become larger and gained control of a part of the criminal operations which once belonged exclusively to La Cosa Nostra." ~ Federation of American Scientists
The federal indictment alleges that Masecchia, who was at the center of DEA investigations from 2008 to 2019, was protected from prosecution by Bongiovanni. A federal grand jury has issued a 17-count indictment. Federal investigators alleged that Bongiovanni received at least $250,000 in bribes, for protecting Masecchia and other mafia members from being investigated. Masecchia was arrested in August of 2019, after a search of his home in Williamsville. At that time, he was charged with illegal gun possession and marijuana distribution, but there was no mention of the Buffalo LCN Family. During the search of Masecchia's home, the following items were seized, according to WGRZ:
- two rifles, five shotguns, one pistol
- seven homemade explosives
- mason jars of marijuana
- hypodermic needles
- THC edibles
- cannabis syrup
- two grams of what is believed to be cocaine
- a digital scale
- four cell phones
Both Bongiovanni and Masecchia have pleaded not guilty.