CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The owner of a local eatery is accused of serving up illegal prescription pills on the side in Suffolk County.
Francesco Miceli, 50, of Rockville Centre, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday to multiple counts of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. Bail has been set at $40,000.
Two very different pictures are emerging of the West Babylon restaurant owner a day after he was arrested and accused of making drug deals out of his shop.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
Miceli was arrested Tuesday night following a three-month investigation, police said.
He is accused of selling Oxycodone hydrochloride pills several times to an undercover police officer at Miceli Brothers Pizzeria and Restaurant – the shop he runs with his two sons.
WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall On The Story
Police said they found 150 pills inside the restaurant when it was raided.
Matthew Miceli, the defendant’s son, opened the shop for business on Wednesday morning.
“We’re gonna keep making pizza, keep selling food, people like how it tastes,” the 19-year-old Miceli said. “I’ll serve them.”
He insisted his father is not a drug dealer and is an active member in the community.
“We donate to all the fire departments, I always sponsor Little League,” the younger Miceli said. “I don’t know what’s going on with the case — no comment, but people gotta remember there’s a lot of good things, too.”
The alleged drug deals were no secret to residents in the neighborhood.
“People knew that drugs were being sold,” said Ronnie Pascuzzo of West Babylon.
“I’m glad he’s gone,” a local deli owner and father of three added.
Deli worker Dawn Smith told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff her own children told her about the drugs being sold, and police said they were tipped off by community complaints. Eight times since February undercover cops were sent in and allegedly bought Oxycodone pills, police said, adding drugs were ordered up almost like it was on the menu.
“We’ve had our detectives watch normal restaurant business going on — pizza selling, pasta and narcotics at the same time,” Suffolk Police Detective Lt. Robert Edwards told Gusoff.
Police told Gusoff they can’t begin to calculate how many illegal pills got into the wrong hands, but they are also investigating who supplied the pills to the pizzeria.
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