NJ Mobster Admits Selling Meth, Faking Pawnshop Armed Robbery
An Atlantic City man with known mob ties on Tuesday admitted to dealing meth and also to staging a fake armed robbery at a North Jersey pawnshop in order to help carry out insurance fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Salvatore “Sam” Piccolo, 67, pleaded guilty in federal court in Camden to charges of distributing 216 grams of methamphetamine and one count of wire fraud.
Piccolo also has a Philadelphia home and is a member of the La Cosa Nostra organized crime family, Carpenito said.
Piccolo and an accomplice entered a Union County pawnshop in April 2014, where they used a hand gun, a nylon mask, chained the front doors and tied up the shop owner in an elaborate phony heist.
The robbery "victim" told police that about $60,000 cash, several pieces of jewelry and a hand gun had been stolen. But the owner later received $174,000 from his insurance company after submitting a fraudulent loss claim.
In unrelated criminal activity, Piccolo also admitted making three sales of methamphetamine, totaling 216 grams, to an undercover FBI agent in June 2017. Lab analysis determined the drug to be "99% pure."
Piccolo faces at least 10 years in prison for the distribution of methamphetamine charge, alone, when he is sentenced on July 18.