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Part-owner of Stockade Deli in Schenectady admits federal 'spice'-related counts

Part-owner of Stockade Deli in Schenectady admits federal 'spice'-related counts

Part-owner of Stockade Deli in Schenectady admits federal 'spice'-related counts
The Stockade Deli in August
Photographer: Peter R. Barber/Gazette Photographer

ALBANY — A part-owner of the Stockade Deli in Schenectady, arrested on federal drug charges last August, has admitted to two counts in court, records show.

The man had also once been identified by federal prosecutors as the biological father of a child homicide victim in Schenectady; however, DNA analysis has ruled him out as the father, attorneys confirmed this week.

Rayen Hussein, 42, appeared in federal court on the drug charges in Albany last week and pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy count and a controlled substance possession count.

Hussein, along with a second man, Abdulqadoos Alomari, 31, were arrested after an Aug. 17 raid on the Stockade Deli, accused of conspiring to distribute synthetic cannabinoids, also referred to as “spice” or “K2,” out of the business, located at 33 State St. Alomari also entered a guilty plea last week, records show.

Hussein admitted to conspiring with others from September 2016 to June 2017 to distribute the synthetic cannabinoids and admitted that he provided $1,000 to another individual to purchase quantities of the "spice" and allowed the man to use a room at the Scotia Village Market on Vley Road in Scotia to manufacture the "spice," according to Hussein's plea agreement.

Between December 2016 and June 2017, Hussein purchased approximately 30,000 baggies of the "spice" which Hussein "arranged to be sold to customers at the Stockade Market and Deli, and other locations," the agreement reads.

Hussein then agreed on Aug. 16 to sell 100 baggies of the "spice" to someone working undercover for law enforcement. Police then raided the Stockade Market and Deli at the time the transaction was supposed to occur, the plea agreement reads.

Hussein is to be sentenced in September and faces a potentially long sentence. His plea agreement allows for a sentence of up to 11 years, 3 months without an ability to appeal.

His attorney Mark Sacco, however, said he intends to argue for much less, saying the case should be considered under guidelines for marijuana offenses rather than higher-level drugs.

Hussein's August arrest came about two weeks after the discovery of baby Rayen Puleski's body in Schenectady. The 4-month-old's mother, Heaven Puleski, is now awaiting sentencing for manslaughter in the child's death. 

Federal prosecutors once identified Hussein as the baby's father, but Hussein's attorney Mark Sacco and Schenectady County prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham confirmed this week that DNA testing ruled Hussein out as the baby's biological father. The biological father of the child remains undetermined, Tremante-Pelham said.

Sacco said his client was friends with Heaven Puleski at some point previously, but he had no contact with her in the later time period. He did not know of the child or that she had apparently named the child for him until after news of the baby's case spread.

The body of baby Rayen Puleski was found wrapped in plastic bags in a grassy area behind 766 State St. on Aug. 9. Police believe Rayen died sometime between July 17 and July 23. July 17 is the day family members believe Rayen was last seen alive.

Prosecutors indicated they had an eyewitness who described Puleski shaking the baby in a "fit of anger." Puleski never admitted doing so, but maintained she found the baby deceased next to her in bed after injecting herself with heroin the previous evening. She was to be sentenced this week to 15 years in prison, but that sentencing was delayed.

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