New charges have been brought against an Oneida County correction officer tied to the alleged sale of illegal steroids last summer, and prosecutors Monday said they will attempt to prove their case without using any of the drugs that were seized from his Deerfield residence.
A county grand jury indicted Peter DiNardo for a second time last week on a stripped-down series of felony charges after County Court Judge Barry M. Donalty suppressed drug evidence seized from DiNardo’s home in August 2009.
Donalty found that evidence had been wrongfully seized using a flimsy state police search warrant.
But rather than leave the judge to dismiss the drug charges against 42-year-old DiNardo altogether, the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office decided to seek a new indictment to replace the previous one, prosecutors said.
“We reviewed the case, and we decided to put the case back into the grand jury without making any reference to the evidence that was suppressed or to anything that was derived from that evidence,” District Attorney Scott McNamara said Monday.
DiNardo now faces charges of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, both felonies, in connection with an alleged July 2009 steroid sale that also involved 23-year-old Yorkville resident Zachary Lazore.
Lazore was an Oneida County correction officer with DiNardo at the time, but has since been terminated. DiNardo remains suspended without pay.
According to the new indictment, DiNardo was acting as an accomplice to Lazore on July 22, 2009, the day Lazore allegedly sold steroids to a confidential informant in North Utica.
Lazore faces the same drug charges as DiNardo, as well as additional charges of selling and possessing steroids in connection to a second sale that allegedly occurred on July 31, 2009, in Yorkville. Steroids also were seized from Lazore’s residence in August 2009, but those drugs have not been suppressed.
Both men are due to be arraigned on the new indictment Thursday, April 29.
Although prosecutors would not elaborate on the remaining evidence against DiNardo and Lazore, state police investigators previously described Lazore stopping at DiNardo’s residence shortly before Lazore met a confidential informant at Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse for an alleged drug transaction.