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Mayor's nephew faces drug charges

A six-month investigation has led to the arrest of a man accused of dealing drugs in city bars, narcotics detectives said Tuesday.

"This was a significant street dealer," said Detective Thomas Fournier, who led the investigation.

Phillip Anello, 27, of 17th Street, the nephew of Mayor Vince Anello, was arrested Friday night and arraigned Monday on felony counts of criminal possession of cocaine and hydrocodone, criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and criminal possession of marijuana with intent to sell, police said.

Detectives said Phillip Anello had at least $5,000 worth of narcotics, including 47 hydrocodone pills, an addictive prescription painkiller that can be sold for $10 to $20 apiece on the street; two ounces of cocaine, valued at $2,400 to $3,200; and nine ounces of hydroponic marijuana, which can be sold for nearly $2,500 a pound.

He pleaded not guilty in City Court and was released on $7,500 bail.

The investigation began after police received tips from bar patrons that Phillip Anello was allegedly dealing drugs in the bars.

After the investigation was completed, an Emergency Response Team led by Capt. David Legault went to the suspect's house Friday night with a search warrant.

"He was in the garage and took off running," Fournier said. "Capt. Legault chased him down and caught him in the alley. He was running and refused to stop and had to be tackled to the ground."

He also was charged with obstruction of governmental administration, a misdemeanor.

After police searched the house, Fournier said, Phillip Anello admitted hiding cocaine in the coffee maker.

"We also recovered a hydraulic press in his garage, which is used after the cocaine is mixed with a cutting agent to give the appearance that the cocaine is hard and of a better quality," Fournier said.

"He was selling gram sizes and moving quite a bit of cocaine at the bars," the detective added.

In 2000, Phillip Anello was arrested on a felony drug possession charges, Fournier said. The disposition of that case was unavailable Tuesday.

Phillip Anello is scheduled to return to court Jan. 22 for a preliminary hearing on the current charges.


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