CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Cheektowaga strip club owner set to go on trial on charges of bribing a DEA agent and conspiring to engage in drug trafficking and human trafficking charges was arrested Friday on witness tampering charges, his attorney confirmed to News 4.

Peter Gerace, who owns Pharoah’s Gentlemen’s Club on Aero Drive in Cheektowaga, was indicted on three counts of witness tampering, accused of sending threatening Facebook messages to a potential witness against him in his trial for the trafficking charges. In his Friday indictment, he is also facing one count of distribution of cocaine.

Gerace was indicted in March 2021 on the drug and human trafficking charges. The club had previously been raided in 2019.

His attorney, Steve Cohen, maintains that Gerace is innocent.

“My client maintains his innocence and is looking forward to clearing his good name at trial before an impartial jury,” Cohen said in a statement to News 4.

He was arraigned and remanded to the custody of U.S. Marshals and is currently being held at the Niagara County Jail. However, Cohen says that it is without just cause. Cohen is co-counsel with Eric Soehnlein, Esq. in the case and Soehnlein appeared at Friday’s arriagnment.

The Buffalo News was the first to report on this story.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.