New London restaurant owner, others arraigned in federal drug trafficking case
Businesswoman Amy Sarcia pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to charges that she used her New London pizza restaurant to launder drug money and distribute marijuana.
Sarcia, 49, of Pawcatuck and nine others accused of various roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy were arraigned before Magistrate Robert A. Richardson in Hartford. A total of 24 people were indicted earlier this month following a year-long investigation by federal, state and local authorities into a drug distribution scheme that centered around 44-year-old Anthony "Jak Mac" Whyte.
Their cases are expected to take months to resolve, either by plea agreement or trial.
The government alleges Sarcia, co-owner of 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza on Huntington Street, and of No Anchor Fine Food & Provisions in Noank, used the pizza place to launder narcotics proceeds to Whyte and to distribute marijuana cartridges. Whyte lived in the attached apartment complex which had been managed by Sarcia.
Sarcia has retained attorneys David A. Moraghan of Torrington and Richard R. Brown of Hartford, according to court documents. They could not immediately be reached for comment. She is free on a $100,000 non-surety bond. Conditions of her release included surrendering her passport, living at her residence at 68 River Road in Pawcatuck and having no contact with the co-defendants in the case.
A second restaurateur, Joshua Feldman, also was indicted. Feldman, 45, is the co-owner of the newly rebranded restaurant Noble at 74 Bank St., formerly known as Ivy & Azure. Charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and distributing cocaine, he is free on a $100,000 bond, under GPS monitoring and is restricted to Rhode Island and Massachusetts, according to court documents.
Feldman's attorney, Robert G. Golger of Fairfield, said by phone Monday evening that Feldman is maintaining his innocence and that that the case is just in the beginning stages in which attorneys are gathering and assessing the evidence.
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