Fake Pawn Shop Robbery Leads To Jail Time

(Photo courtesy of Jason Rojas/Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Jason Rojas/Flickr)

  CAMDEN – A man was sentenced to 150 months in prison for selling crystal meth and staging a fake robbery of a pawn shop for insurance fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

  Salvatore “Sam” Piccolo, 68, of Atlantic City, a member of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra organized crime family, had pleaded guilty to distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and one count of wire fraud.

  Police said he sold meth to undercover FBI agents on three occasions between June and September of 2017. He also admitted that on April 19, 2014, he and an accomplice conspired to commit insurance fraud. They went to a pawn shop in Union County to sell some silver items. His accomplice pulled out a gun while Piccolo chained the front doors and tied up the owner. Piccolo and his accomplice looted the safe of about $60,000 in cash, some jewelry, and a gun.

  The owner, who was allegedly in on the deal, submitted a fraudulent loss claim to an insurance company for approximately $174,000.

  Piccolo was sentenced to 150 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $174,025 in restitution to Northland Insurance of Minnesota.

  U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.