Former Schenectady Police Chief Greg Kaczmarek Convicted On Felony Drug Distribution Charges
ALBANY, N.Y. (December 2, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the convictions of former Schenectady Police Chief Gregory Kaczmarek and his wife for taking part in a highly organized narcotics distribution organization that operated in the Capital District and was supplied from Long Island.
Gregory Kaczmarek, 56, and his wife Lisa Kaczmarek, 48, both of Roma Street in Schenectady, pleaded guilty today before Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago. The Kaczmareks were indicted in September for their participation in a cocaine and marijuana drug distribution ring run by Kerry “Slim” Kirkem, 40, of VanVranken Ave. in Schenectady and Guideboard Road in Waterford.
Gregory Kaczmarek pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (class B felony). As a condition of his plea, he surrendered his police badge and his nursing license. He faces 2 years in prison and 1 year of post-release supervision when he is sentenced in February. Gregory Kaczmarek was the Chief of Police for the City of Schenectady Police Department from 1996 to 2002.
Lisa Kaczmarek pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (class C felony). She faces 6 months in jail and 5 years of probation when she is sentenced in February.
“Today’s convictions show that no one is above the law,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “The involvement of a former chief of police in this organized drug ring is an insult to the countless law enforcement officials who risk their lives every day to protect our communities. As we did in this case and all others, my office will continue to hold all public servants accountable for their actions.”
A 13-month, multi-agency investigation known as “Operation Slim Chance” led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) culminated in a May 2008 indictment that charged 24 defendants, including Lisa Kaczmarek, with being involved in a highly organized narcotic distribution network that brought cocaine and heroin from Long Island to Schenectady. The Attorney General’s investigation seized over $160,000 in heroin and cocaine along with several firearms and drug paraphernalia. Details about the original indictment and arrests can be found online at http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/former-schenectady-police-chief-greg-kaczmarek-convicted-felony-drug-distribution. Of those indicted in that instance, 22 individuals have now pleaded guilty, with one case pending and one individual at-large.
The Kaczmareks were in frequent contact with Kirkem via coded messages to discuss cocaine and marijuana deals. In one instance, after police seized a cocaine shipment on its way from Long Island to Schenectady, Gregory Kaczmarek allegedly advised Kirkem to change his stash houses and get a new phone in order to cover his tracks. During another call with Kirkem, Lisa Kaczmarek volunteered Gregory as a possible “mule” to transport cocaine. She indicated that if he were stopped by law enforcement while transporting the drugs, he could “flash his badge” in order to evade police.
The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Michael Sharpe under the supervision of First Deputy Assistant Attorney General Peri Kadanoff and Robin Baker, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice. The Attorney General thanked the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the OCTF investigators for their continued hard work and participation in the underlying investigation.