Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
How much do parents really know about their children’s activities? That’s the question being asked in the wake of last week’s arrest of 26-year-old Gabriel Dipierno who is charged with stashing a massive quantity of guns, explosives and illegal drugs in his bedroom at his parents’ Franklin Square home. And, police say, his parents were unaware.
Is that possible? Yes.
Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence said it’s not uncommon for parents to miss the warning signs of trouble.
“Some of those folks by the very nature of addiction go on to deal in quantity and wind up headlong into this,” said Reynolds. “Very often, parents will come in, sit in my office with a handful of syringes and say ‘I found this in my kids room, what does this mean?’ As I walk through this, I see parents sit there in disbelief and part of this I think is none of us would not acknowledge that our kid was headed down that road.”
Police arrested Dipierno of Rintin Street last Tuesday afternoon when officers witnessed him dealing six envelopes of heroin to Kenneth J. Butler II, who lived nearby on Naple Avenue. Det. Sgt. Patrick Ryder called Dipierno a “top level” drug dealer in Nassau County at a press briefing on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
“We’re seeing heroin use begin to increase again,” Reynolds stated. “For a while, we started to see some leveling off, more people using Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet.”
A joint investigation between the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s Criminal Intelligence Rapid Response Team, the Fourth Precinct and Arson Bomb Squad led to the arrest of Dipierno and Butler. According to police, the Franklin Square area has seen a rise in street robberies and drug dealing and more patrols have been present in the area.
“The fact that [drug problems] happen gradually over time, and the signs, we typically want to ignore, dismiss the signs, it’s not uncommon, not to this extent, for parents to say ‘I don’t understand how this happened,’” Reynolds said. “In reality, it didn’t happen overnight. It just took four or five years to blossom because you didn’t want to see it,”
Dipierno faces multiple charges for drugs and weapons possession. Butler was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
So where did it all go wrong? It’s unclear at this point, but Reynolds thinks it starts in the teen years.
“If you track back on this particular guy or anyone who gets this jammed up to this level, odds are they started doing this when they were younger,” he said. “When parents want to know the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, it’s dramatic change in grades, in friends, moodiness, sleeping a lot. The problem is a lot of those symptoms are symptoms of adolescence. Very often, parents will chalk it up to kids stuff.”
Police said officers recovered 20 suboxone and nine white alprazolam pills in addition to more glassine envelopes of heroin, Klonopin, Valium and clonazapam pills in his car. Authorities obtained a search warrant for Dipierno’s home and discovered at least $100,000 in illegal drugs, $7,000 in cash and six illegal firearms.
“They observed a hand-to-hand a drug deal,” Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said. “The debriefing of one of those persons led to what you see on the table today.”
Police said the steroids were imported from Mexico, along with heroin, marijuana and other prescription drugs. The explosive materials, Ryder said, were of commercial-grade.
“He had material that if set correctly and detonated would have blown off the top of that house,” Ryder said. “All the material that was taken by our bomb squad in a controlled environment, they will secure it and test it and destroy it.”
Police are investigating possible connections between Dipierno and other dealers, authorities said, but would not provide details. Dipierno used a “complex scheme” to import the drugs, using different names and addresses at multiple post offices.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Saturday, 25 May 2013 00:00
After, Williston Park resident Joe Botkin, Massapequa resident Sol Goldstein and several friends helped finish building a house for a family 20 years ago for Habitat for Humanity, they had a question: “What do we do now?” They were all retired, had enjoyed working together and accomplishing something for a family in need, and wanted to do more.
“I was looking for something [to do] hands-on,” said Joe Botkin, a retired principal, who had worked with Goldstein in building the home.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Friday, 24 May 2013 00:00
New Hyde Park is still awaiting Superstorm Sandy FEMA reimbursements, Mayor Robert Lofaro revealed. The village operates on a budget of about $5.8 million.
Public works superintendent Tom Gannon and village clerk Cathryn Hillmann spent numerous hours on forms and expenses for storm reimbursement. Lofaro said the fund balance is tiny and that if, say $300,000 was spent, the fund needs to be replenished quickly.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Our Lady of Victory CYO volleyball’s eighth-grade girls team clinched its fourth-straight playoff appearance after taking two games from St. Raymond’s and sweeping St Martin’s. The girls were led by spiking duo of Jennifer Jandovitz (pictured) and Ann Roberts along with a great serving performance from Mary Weissler.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
The Dr. Barbaro Podiatry Padres took on Dominick’s Deli Braves on a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon. Hunter Dunn, Jake Gruosso, and Julian Dewitte laced three straight singles to start the home first for the well-oiled Dr. Barbaro Podiatry Padre machine. Solid hits were contributed by Thomas Vieni, Trevor Boshnack, and Ben Harnick. Michael O’Grady clobbered the second Padre double of 2013 into left center. In the field Stephen Coffey, Chris Erxelben, and Stephen Lopez provided amazing glove work.