Joined by the West New York Swat Team, the Hudson County Sheriff's Office led by Sheriff Frank Schillari, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office and the Port Authority K-9 Unit, sergeants Frank Steffe and Danny Braico gained entrance into the apartment after obtaining a search warrant based on the occupants' alleged gang and drug associations.
“They had [allegedly] been causing problems throughout the whole building,” Indri stated Tuesday. “We'd been trying to pursue this case for a while, and it resulted in four arrests.”
Upon entry, the teams found twin sisters Diana and Amanda Dopico, 23, and brother Christopher Dopico, 25; the latter of whom was allegedly attempting to flush a quantity of marijuana down the toilet. Officers were able to recover a softball-sized portion, Indri said. This led to a charge of tampering with evidence.
“We were hoping to get a larger portion of drugs,” Indri stated, “and when that didn’t occur, we acted on the information of an associate that the 6th floor was [allegedly] being used as stash house.”
Officers were granted consent to search the upper-level apartment by the mother of Andrew Moreno, 23, who was found to allegedly be in possession of stun guns, paraphernalia, over a pound of marijuana with a street value of $5,000, and $4,500 in monies used for drug transactions, Indri said.
Christopher Dopico was charged with gang criminality, controlled dangerous substance (CDS) distribution, CDS distribution within 500 feet of public housing, CDS distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of CDS, and possession of CDS paraphernalia.
Diana and Amanda Dopico were both charged with unlawful possession of weapons, CDS distribution, CDS distribution within 500 feet of public housing, CDS distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of CDS, possession of CDS paraphernaliea, failure to make lawful disposition, conspiracy, and CDS possession of 50 grams and over.
Moreno was charged with criminal gang activity, unlawful possession of a weapon, CDS distribution, CDS distribution within 500 feet of public housing, CDS distribution within 1000 feet of a school, possession of CDS, and possession of CDS paraphernaliea.
“These are people who have been [allegedly] terrorizing the area up there. People in the area were relieved, and some were clapping when the officers emerged later on,” Indri said. “I will do whatever I have to do and use whatever resources I have at my disposal to rid my town of this sort of criminal behavior.” – Gennarose Pope