In May 2001, Raiola was one of fifteen defendants indicted—and later convicted—for their roles in the narcotics operation, which distributed crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, and marijuana in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Federal agents described Raiola as an associate of the drug ring’s leader, who was sentenced to nearly thirteen years in prison. She was provided cocaine for “street level distribution,” according to an affidavit sworn by a DEA agent and an NYPD detective. Raiola sold the drug from Brooklyn bars where she worked. The case against Raiola and her codefendants was built with the aid of wiretapped conversations, the work of an undercover NYPD detective posing as a drug trafficker, and a confidential informant (CI) who made cocaine buys at the direction of federal agents. Some targets of the federal investigation were low-level associates of the Colombo crime family. Raiola was indicted in May 2001 on six felony counts. Along with a conspiracy-to-distribute charge, she was hit with five counts related to separate cocaine sales she made to the CI. At the time of her arrest, Raiola’s handbag contained fourteen small plastic bags containing cocaine.
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