BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A former Niagara Falls Police officer has pleaded guilty to her role in a drug conspiracy, along with two co-defendants.
Stephanie A. Costanzo, 29, a former Niagara Falls Police officer, pleaded guilty to managing a drug involved premises in federal court Monday.
Her co-defendants Raymond Hopson and Lindsay Carrier also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine.
According to the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case, between July 28, 2016 and Nov. 8, 2016, Hopson made several sales of crack cocaine to an undercover officer posing as a drug customer. During that time, Hopson was living with Costanzo at her Grand Avenue residence. Hopson would store some of his cocaine as well as paraphernalia for weighing and distributing the cocaine at the residence, the assistant U.S. attorney said.
On Nov. 9, agents from the DEA and Niagara Falls Police Department executed a search warrant at Costanzo’s residence. Agents and officers recovered about 5.6 grams of cocaine, a digital scale used for weighing and distributing the cocaine, and drug paraphernalia used to package and distribute the cocaine.
“Although she did not participate in the distribution of the controlled substances, Costanzo was aware that Hopson stored his cocaine and paraphernalia at her residence,” a press release from the court said Monday.
Carrier conspired with Hopson to distribute the crack cocaine. On five occasions between July 28, 2016, and November 8, 2016, Hopson obtained crack cocaine from Carrier and then sold it to an undercover officer. A search warrant executed at the Willow Avenue residence of Carrier’s mother resulted in the seizure of quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine.
Costanzo is scheduled to be sentenced on May 30, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. Hopson and Carrier are scheduled to be sentenced on May 29, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. respectively.
Costanzo faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Hopson and Carrier each face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a fine of $5 million.