Mahopac Man With Kids In Car During Heroin Sale Sentenced To Jail, DA Says

PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. - One of the two members of a Mahopac couple that was busted attempting to sell heroin to an undercover Sheriff’s Deputy with children in their car has been sentenced to prison time after pleading guilty to drug charges.

Philip Callaci
Philip Callaci Photo Credit: Putnam County Sheriff's Office

Philip Callaci, 50, was sentenced to two years in state prison and two years post release supervision after pleading guilty to a charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy announced on Thursday.

Callaci was arrested on Oct. 26 last year after arranging to sell a quantity of heroin to what was an undercover member of the Sheriff’s Department, according to the DA. Callaci was arrested with his 39-year-old girlfriend, Dawn Lagatella and their two young children - 3 years old and 3 weeks old - parked in a car with 13 glassines envelopes of heroin set to be distributed, the DA said.

The buyer, an undercover deputy sheriff, was working as part of a buy-and-bust team of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit (NEU). When the heroin sale took place, NEU members moved in and arrested Callaci and Lagatella and seized a quantity of heroin from the couple’s car, the sheriff's office said.

At the time of his arrest, Callaci was on probation for a prior petit larceny conviction.

According to officials “outraged that Callaci would arrange to sell heroin with his children in the car, ADA Breanne Smith, who prosecuted the case, refused any plea offer that did not include a state prison sentence.”

“Heroin kills, it’s that simple,” Tendy said. “My office will continue to use every resource to punish those who push these drugs into our community.” 

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