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) Wednesday, 19 June 2013 00:00
For those that are fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters that are seen on their television screens, Nassau County residents now have the chance to train like them. Starting on June 15, the first ever east coast location for the brand-extended UFC gym opened at 2020 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park.
UFC Gyms operate under the slogan “Train Different,” which is some of the best training that people come to this type of gym to get, according to Operations Manager Suzanne Silver.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Saturday, 15 June 2013 00:00
This year, as in years past, the jockeys from Belmont Park, including Sam the Bugler, visited the families and volunteers at Ronald McDonald House of Long Island (RMH-LI) as part of an annual partnership with the New York Racing Association (NYRA).
“This is a great event for our children and their families,” said Matt Campo, RMH-LI executive director. “It is a fun day that everyone looks forward to.”
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
Major League Baseball has selected Tori Parente from New Hyde Park Little League as The Sectional All-Around Champion. Parente outperformed all other sectional champs in the region. She will move on to MLB Team Championship held at Citi Field on June 15.
Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00
The New Hyde Park Knights played at another Special Olympics Basketball Tournament held at Great Neck North High School’s gym on Saturday, May 11. The Knights came ready to play with smiles on their faces as they waited for the opening ceremonies. Two Great Neck Spirit torchbearers lead the way as the ceremonies started. Alan Someck, of the Spirit, managed the event.