Schenectady County

Drug ring courier pleads guilty

The “drug mule” at the center of a cocaine and heroin ring takedown admitted Friday to possessing dr
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The “drug mule” at the center of a cocaine and heroin ring takedown admitted Friday to possessing drugs.

Misty Gallo, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a high-level drug felony.

She is to receive five years in state prison at her scheduled August sentencing.

Gallo was calm in Schenectady County Court Friday morning. She had become emotional at an earlier appearance when Judge Karen Drago rejected an earlier plea offer.

During routine questioning in court Friday, Gallo admitted to a cocaine addiction and said she suffered from bipolar disorder.

“She took responsibility for her actions,” her attorney Stephen Rockmacher said afterward. He declined to comment further.

Gallo was the latest suspect in the Kerry Kirkem and Oscar Mora drug ring to take a plea. Both Kirkem and Mora, who police say were the leaders, have already pleaded guilty to major drug charges.

A total of 24 people were indicted, among them Lisa Kaczmarek, wife of former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek. She was charged with conspiracy, which is still pending.

Meanwhile, another of those indicted, Hector Gomez, 24, of Foster Avenue, was arrested again this week after posting $40,000 bail.

Gomez was indicted on drug charges that predated his arrest in the drug ring, officials said. He faces drug possession and sale charges, in addition to the charges stemming from the distribution ring. His attorney, Elmer Robert Keach III, declined to comment.

Gallo was among the first four arrested in the case, taken into custody in March. Authorities said she made multiple trips to Long Island at the direction of Kirkem to bring back shipments of cocaine and heroin.

On Feb. 20, authorities seized more than $23,000 in drugs from her car, but didn’t tell her. Instead, they let her go on her way to see how the organization would react.

When she realized she lost more than $23,000 in drugs, taken by officers during a planned traffic stop on the Thruway, a sobbing Gallo called her boss, Kirkem, then, attempting to explain where the drugs had gone, according to police wiretaps.

Kirkem and Mora were allegedly later caught on wiretaps openly talking about “beating the hell out of her” or worse.

Mora advocated action, while Kirkem advised caution.

The seizure also resulted in a meeting, allegedly involving Kirkem and Lisa and Greg Kaczmarek, to determine how best to respond to the apparent police seizure.

Greg Kaczmarek has not been charged in the investigation.

Gallo had hoped for a four-year sentence, but Drago rejected that deal earlier this month. The judge had said she would accept nothing less than 5 1⁄2 years, but ultimately agreed to the five-year deal.

The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s office. It was investigated by the state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and local police departments.

Categories: Schenectady County

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