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Indictment alleges ex-Schenectady police chief was part of drug ring

Indictment alleges ex-Schenectady police chief was part of drug ring

Former Schenectady Police Chief Gregory T. Kaczmarek has been indicted on charges related to a drug
Indictment alleges ex-Schenectady police chief was part of drug ring
Greg and Lisa Kaczmarek are pictured in mugshots taken by police after their arrests on drug charges in September 2008.

Former Schenectady Police Chief Gregory T. Kaczmarek has been indicted on charges related to a drug operation for which his wife and stepson already had been charged.

A six-count indictment unsealed this morning in Schenectady County Court charges Kaczmarek, 56, with one count each of second- and sixth-degree conspiracy, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He faces as much as 25 years in prison if indicted of the top charge.

Kaczmarek indictment

To read the complete indictment of former Schenectady police chief Gregory Kaczmarek, click here.

Lisa Kaczmarek, 48, was also charged in a superseding indictment this morning with the same charges as her husband. She had previously been charged only with conspiracy and remains one of the last of the original defendants with a pending case.

"It is shocking to all of us that a former police chief is alleged to have been intricately involved in a narcotics ring, but no one is above the law," said state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, whose office is prosecuting the case. "The conduct Greg Kaczmarek is charged with in this case is an insult to all members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.

Both Greg and Lisa Kaczmarek were in court this morning, where Lisa Kaczmarek's $10,000 bail was continued and Gregory Kaczmarek was released on $10,000 cash bail.

Lisa Kaczmarek’s son, Miles Smith — Greg Kaczmarek’s stepson — was also among the 24 people originally charged with taking part in a drug organization headed by Kerry Kirkem and Oscar Mora. He accepted a plea deal earlier this month; his punishment could be a shortened, six-month intensive prison sentence.

In June, Mora admitted his role in the operation and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison. Later that month, Kirkem pleaded guilty to charges related to the operation and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The indictment alleges multiple phone calls between Greg Kaczmarek and Kirkem in February, each of them secretly recorded by state police wiretaps. Greg Kaczmarek received a shipment of cocaine from Kerry Kirkem in early January. Lisa Kaczmarek then paid for the shipment days later.

The lengthy list of phone calls begins Feb. 1. On that day alone, authorities allege at least four separate calls between Greg Kaczmarek and Kirkem. In the first call that day, at 9:18 a.m., the former chief asked Kirkem to call him back once Kirkem got out of bed.

Later phone calls that day refer to requests by Greg Kaczmarek for cocaine. Kirkem responded that he was awaiting a shipment. Greg Kaczmarek allegedly told Kirkem that he was holding him up so that Kaczmarek could not "do business."

The former chief obtained more cocaine from Kirkem the next day. Kirkem even confided in Lisa Kaczmarek that he was unhappy with the Long Island source and would get a new one with better quality.

The calls began again Feb. 3, with Lisa Kaczmarek asking for more cocaine. They continued in the days that followed. On Feb. 6, Lisa Kaczmarek told Kirkem he could deliver the cocaine the next day. They also had the money to pay for a previous delivery.

Kirkem then told a worker to package cocaine "for the chief." Kirkem offered to drop it off, but he was with Lisa's son, Miles Smith. She told Kirkem she didn't want him there if her son was with him.

The indictment then repeats prior allegations that Greg Kaczmarek offered to pick up a shipment himself Feb. 18 and that he would "flash his badge" if stopped by police.

New, however, is information concerning an alleged meeting between the Kaczmareks and Kirkem Feb. 20 to discuss a response to a police drug seizure. Greg Kaczmarek allegedly told Kirkem he needed to move his stash houses and change telephone numbers. The worker who lost the drugs to police, Misty Gallo, also should be fired. Stash houses were soon moved.

In the alleged marijuana conspiracy, Kirkem would collect money from the Kaczmareks and others generated through marijuana sales, according to the indictment.

On Feb. 3, Greg Kaczmarek allegedly asked Kirkem for marijuana, but only enough for their personal use. Kirkem would have to check if some was available. Two days later, Lisa Kaczmarek offered to give Kirkem $300 from Greg's cocaine sales and $120 from her own marijuana sales. She also needed another four or five bags of marijuana to sell.

The specific drug charges allege the Kaczmareks are each accused of possessing more than 1/8 ounce of cocaine Feb. 2 and Feb. 6 and possessing cocaine with intention to sell that same day.

Greg Kaczmarek served as Schenectady police chief from 1996 to 2002, retiring in the wake of a department informant and drug scandal that sent four officers to prison. He has long denied drug use, even holding a press conference before becoming chief in which he told reporters drug-related accusations against him were not true.

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