North Bergen Prosecutor Charged With Money Laundering In Drug Probe
Marcanton Macri allegedly "facilitated" bank link for pair of drug smugglers, charged with money laundering.
The now-former law partner of the Fort Lee mayor helped a pair of large-scale marijuana dealers establish a relationship with a crooked bank manager, authorities said Saturday.
Marcanton Macri, 44, of Edgewater, a North Bergen municipal prosecutor, is accused of "facilitating" a relationship between the assistant manager and Matthew Martin and Danny Saleh, two Edgewater men whom authorities say imported as much as 1,000 pounds of marijuana into New Jersey from Northern California since the start of 2012.
Mayor Mark Sokolich said Sunday that he has cut professional ties with Macri, who is active in politics and had been talked about as a future head of the Fort Lee Democratic Party.
Sokolich, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, said he was "completely surprised, stunned and beside myself regarding these allegations, remaining mindful they are only allegations."
Sokolich and Macri have been friends for nearly two decades.
Sokolich said in December that Macri “is like a brother and a best friend to me.”
"Unfortunately my professional relationship has been terminated as of April 15," Sokolich told Patch Sunday. "However I remain supportive of a friend and former business colleague, as I remain supportive for all friends."
Macri plans the annual Christmas tree lighting in Fort Lee, which was his brainchild, and the firm pays for part of the event.
Martin, 43, and Saleh, 34, made bulk purchases of marijuana in the "Emerald Triangle" of Northern California during bi-monthly trips, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said in a release.
The Emerald Triangle is perhaps the most fertile marijuana growing region in the country and supplies much of California's legal marijuana. The men would ship the drug back to New Jersey and Brooklyn via the post office, authorities said.
Authorities intercepted the last shipment from California, seizing boxes holding about 100 pounds of pot, Molinelli said. The marijuana, Molinelli said, has a street value of about $400,000.
Martin and Saleh would break the marijuana up and distribute it through associates, making enough money to afford a Rolls Royce, a Lamborghini, an Audi R8 and a Range Rover, which were seized, authorities said.
Macri is accused of "facilitating" the relationship between Martin, Saleh and Anthony Alberga, 22, of Cliffside Park, an assistant bank manager "in a local bank" who gave them $100 bills in exchange for smaller currency, authorities allege.
Also seized was $250,000 in cash.