Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A prominent former Falls and Lewiston chef and restaurateur will arrive at a federal prison to begin a decade behind bars on Feb. 13.
Six days later, he’ll be sentenced to a year in the Niagara County Jail for his guilty plea to sexually abusing a young girl.
The sentences for Filippo Inglima will run concurrently. After his release from prison, he is expected to be immediately deported back his native country of Italy.
Inglima’s federal sentence stems from his guilty plea to a charge that he conspired to bring marijuana into the United States and send cocaine into Canada as part of an international drug smuggling ring.
He had been scheduled to be sentenced in the sex abuse case on Wednesday, but federal prosecutors told the Niagara County District Attorney that if he received a local jail term, he would have to serve that before beginning his federal time.
“We decided to delay our sentencing until he surrenders to the federal authorities,” Assistant District Attorney Richard Zucco said. “That way he can do both sentences concurrently.”
Inglima waived his right to return to Niagara County Court on Feb. 19 to be sentenced and waived his right to speak to either Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, or his victim, at that time.
A Niagara County grand jury indicted Inglima on four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and a single count of endangering the welfare of a child in November 2012. He pleaded guilty in March.
Inglima was accused of “sexually touching” and having “sexual contact” with a then 14-year-old girl beginning in July 2004 and continuing that contact until July 2005.
He was also charged with sexually abusing the same victim, now 21, while she worked at a South End restaurant in the Falls in July 2011.
“He has shown on two occasions (the drug sales and the sexually abuse) that (he) had no regard for anyone else,” Zucco said. “For the rest of (his) life (he’ll) have to realize that.”
Zucco said the victim sent a letter to Farkas telling the judge about the impact the crime has had on her life.
“As is often the case with the sexual abuse of a child, it destroys the child’s trust in people,” Zucco said.
Inglima will serve his prison time at the Federal Correctional Complex in Allenwood, Pa. That complex has also housed convicted members of Laborers Local 91 and former Falls Mayor Vince Anello.
The laborers and Anello were housed in low- and medium-security facilities at the complex. Inglima will spend his time in a high-security facility.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara sentenced Inglima, 46, 2825 Thornwood Road, Wheatfield, to the minimum federal prison term he could have received. Arcara noted that Inglima was well regarded in the community and had never been in trouble before being charged in the drug conspiracy.
Inglima, his business partner in a North Buffalo restaurant, David Gambino, and 22 other individuals were indicted in November 2009 on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 500 grams of so-called “club drugs” like Ecstacy.
In a plea agreement, filed with the court, Inglima admitted that “between 2006 and Nov. 17, 2009 ... (he) traveled to Canada on occasion in order to pick-up quantities of marijuana which (he) smuggled into the United States.” Inglima also admitted that he “met couriers” after they had smuggled pot into the U.S. and he then distributed the marijuana to Gambino and others.
While the pot was flowing into the U.S., Inglima confessed that he was assisting Gambino in “transporting quantities of cocaine from the United States to Canada.” Inglima also admitted that he smuggled cash in and out of the United States and Canada to pay for the cocaine and marijuana.
Federal prosecutors said Inglima was involved in moving more than 100 kilos of coke and over 1,800 kilos of marijuana during the conspiracy.