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US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Willams announced today that former NYPD officer John Cicero has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of trafficking large quantities of gamma-butyrolactone and methamphetamine for years throughout Westchester County and Manhattan. Cicero, who lives in Bronxville New York and attended John Jay College, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute GBL — known colloquially as both a “date-rape” and euphoria-inducing party scene drug — as well as 50 grams of methamphetamine (known as “meth” and “crystal meth”).

John Cicero who was found guilty of trafficking drugs.

Williams said: “A former NYPD police officer once sworn to protect the public, John Cicero spent years betraying his former law enforcement partners, enriching himself, and endangering the community by importing GBL, a dangerous liquid date-rape drug, from China and methamphetamine from Mexico and trafficking massive amounts of both throughout Westchester and New York City, including in Hell’s Kitchen and midtown-Manhattan around Penn Station.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of law enforcement, Cicero will serve a substantial sentence in prison for his callous crimes.” 

Cicero worked as an officer for the NYPD until January of 2010, when he was arrested after being caught on tape beating and repeatedly slamming the head of Jonathan Baez. Cicero lost his position on the force but did not receive any jail time, instead being given 400 hours of community service.   

From 2017 to his arrest in February 2020, Cicero and his co-conspirators (Marco Caso, Irma Materasso, and Matthew Mateo, all of whom previously pled guilty on charges of distribution) imported, stockpiled, and sold GBL and methamphetamine out of Midtown storage units and a residence in Bronxville. Cicero was known as the primary contact and supervisor of the drug distribution, working to secure a steady inventory of the substances through suppliers in Mexico as well as large-scale narcotics deals through a NY State inmate. Cicero also created and used fake identity documents and stolen credit cards to finance luxury Manhattan hotel rooms from which drugs were distributed and consumed. 

Jugs of gamma-butyrolactone (known as “GBL”) seized by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. File Photo: US DEA

Cicero was arrested on February 19, 2020, after being located in a hotel room he had rented under a false name. Authorities recovered GBL, methamphetamine, fake IDs and credit card making equipment, as well as notebooks full of his victims’ personally identifiable information. 

In addition to 10 years in prison, Cicero was sentenced to four years of supervised release and ordered to pay a forfeiture penalty of $216,262.50.

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