Feds: Men sought $300K in fake cocaine from undercover agent
Four men have been charged in connection with trying to buy $300,000 in fake cocaine from an undercover federal agent in Wayne County, authorities said.
According to an affidavit filed Friday in U.S. District Court, investigators had been tracking an alleged drug-trafficking operation that they allege was led by David Miranda, who was convicted in 1993 of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He is accused of being the main supplier for Jose Caraballo-Troche, a Detroiter described as a street-level drug dealer, the filing said.
This month, investigators learned Christopher Tallarico, a Pittsburgh resident, also allegedly was involved in dealing cocaine and tracked him to the Dearborn residence of another man, John Sciarrotta, a convicted felon whom an FBI task force allegedly had connected to the Miranda enterprise.
On Thursday, agents spotted Tallarico, Miranda and Sciarrotta at a garage at the Dearborn house before a blue bag was loaded into a Cadillac Escalade, officials said.
Tallarico drove the SUV to a Wayne restaurant, where he met an undercover agent and offered to buy cocaine with cash stashed in a duffel bag and cardboard box, according to the complaint. They agreed to meet at a Canton Township Holiday Inn to complete the transaction, investigators said.
Followed by Miranda, Sciarrotta and Caraballo-Troche, Tallarico went to the parking lot and handed the undercover agent money in exchange for 30 kilograms of bogus narcotics, investigators wrote.
After all four men convened at a nearby Mobil gas station minutes later, armed agents emerged and ordered them to surrender, prosecutors said.
Authorities then executed search warrants for five locations in Wayne County, including Sciarrotta’s home. They seized approximately $13,000, several firearms and 31 grams of suspected cocaine, federals officials reported.
Agents also recovered guns and more than $20,000 at Caraballo-Troche’s Detroit home.
All four have been charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine.
They appeared in court Sunday and face detention hearings this week, records show.
Attorneys for Miranda, Sciarrotta and Caraballo-Troche did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night. A federal defender appointed for Tallarico could not be reached.