The defendant, Anthony Grecco, 35, was convicted of the crimes in January, following a nine-day trial in White Plains federal court before the Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, who imposed Wednesday’s sentence.
The jury in the case found that Grecco traveled from New Jersey to Ossining, where he robbed and murdered the victim, Ryan Ennis, in furtherance of his narcotics trafficking activities on Aug. 26, 2014.
“Anthony Grecco violently murdered Ryan Ennis, repeatedly stabbing him and slashing his throat, all for a few thousand dollars Ennis had for marijuana he thought Grecco was delivering,” said Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “The significant sentence imposed on Grecco today reflects the horrific and cold-hearted nature of his crime.”
As established by the evidence at trial, Grecco was a marijuana dealer based in New Jersey.
As of spring 2014, one of his customers was Ennis, 25, who had been purchasing marijuana from Grecco and reselling it in the area around Ossining.
By late summer 2014, Grecco’s marijuana supply had dried up, and he became desperate for cash.
Grecco set up a meeting with Ennis on the pretense that he would be bringing more marijuana for him, although Grecco actually intended to rob Ennis, and kill him, if necessary, in order to get his money, prosecutors said.
Grecco wanted the money not only because he was strapped for cash, but because he intended to invest in the heroin business of another drug dealer in New Jersey, according to officials.
In preparation for the meeting, Grecco obtained a knife and stuffed a backpack full of linens so that Ennis would not realize that Grecco had arrived without any marijuana.
Grecco then drove with two accomplices from New Jersey to an apartment complex in Ossining, where Ennis was waiting alone in his father’s apartment.
After arriving, Grecco went into the apartment and robbed Ennis, while the other two individuals waited outside.
In the course of the robbery, Grecco stabbed Ennis repeatedly and slashed his throat, killing him, prosecutors said.
Grecco took $8,900 – the cash that Ennis had prepared for the marijuana deal – as well as a cell phone and a hat from Ennis.
After the murder, Grecco returned to New Jersey, where he showered and threw away the blood-stained clothes that he had been wearing in an attempt to cover his tracks, according to officials.
Bharara praised the work of the Village of Ossining Police Department and the FBI’s Westchester County Violent Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the FBI, the Westchester County Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Peekskill Police Department, the New York City Police Department and the City of Yonkers Police Department.
The prosecution in the case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s White Plains Division.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gerber, Scott Hartman and George Turner are in charge of the prosecution.
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