TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former Town of Tonawanda paramedic Jon Cinelli, 52, has been charged with both felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and petit larceny.
The Grand Island man had been under investigation after allegedly stealing from a drug drop-off box in the lobby of the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.
District Attorney John Flynn says more than 1,000 pills were found in Cinelli’s home.
“Just visually imagine that many pills,” Flynn said. “There were a lot of pills here that added up to B-Felony weight, which is some pretty significant weight.”
Earlier this year, Cinelli and another paramedic, Jeremy Pecoraro, were fired after being suspected of taking drugs from the box. Their union has filed a grievance.
Pecoraro was charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance in March.
Cinelli had been a Town of Tonawanda paramedic for more than 22 years, while Pecoraro served as one for more than four. Police allege both took the drugs for their personal use.
The Town of Tonawanda Police Department requires that two paramedics empty out the drug collection bin together.
Cinelli could spend up to nine years in prison if convicted. Following a court appearance on Tuesday, he was released on his own recognizance.