BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former Buffalo Public Schools teacher is going to prison for seven years on weapon and drug trafficking charges.

From at least 1999 until his August 23, 2019 arrest, Michael Masecchia, 57, of Williamsville, was involved in marijuana sales in Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Masecchia was convicted of intent to distribute marijuana and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.

The 57-year-old and others participated in marijuana grow operations in Ellicottville and Franklinville, the marijuana harvested at these sites was distributed to resellers and users, according to the USAO. Masecchia used firearms to protect himself, and the property where he stored “marijuana and currency.”

The former teacher admitted as part of his plea agreement that he received “sensitive law enforcement information” from co-defendant and former Special Agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Joseph Bongiovanni.

This information included “names of potential cooperators and whether or not Masecchia and others were under federal investigation, and such information helped Masecchia and others to continue selling marijuana undetected by other members of law enforcement,” the USAO said.

Authorities seized $27,950.00, two rifles, five shotguns, a pistol, ammunition, marijuana and suspected cocaine, steroids, hypodermic needles, THC edibles, cannabis syrup, drug paraphernalia and four cell phones when authorities executed a search warrant at Masecchia’s Main Street Williamsville home.

Charges remain pending against Joseph Bongiovanni.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.