New York Teacher Arrested After Police Find Explosives, Guns and Drugs in His Home

A New York high school teacher is charged with drugs and weapons offenses following a search of his home by investigators from multiple agencies. He is accused of having grown and distributed marijuana for two decades.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York announced that Michael Masecchia, 53, of Williamsville is charged with intent to distribute, and distribution of, marijuana, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.

If convicted, Masecchia, who is married and has two children, faces between five years and life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to WKBW, Masecchia is an English teacher at Grover Cleveland High School. Buffalo Public Schools said in a statement: "The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the legal process."

Masecchia's home on Main Street in Williamsville was raided on August 23 by investigators from Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Erie County Sheriff's Office, and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

The justice department said investigators seized from Masecchia's home rifles, shotguns, a pistol, ammunition, homemade explosives, Mason jars of marijuana, liquid and tablet steroids, hypodermic needles, THC edibles, cannabis syrup, suspected cocaine, Tylenol with Codeine tablets, suspected hashish, a digital scale, a suspected marijuana cigarette, numerous plastic bags, small bottles containing marijuana, and four cell phones.

Moreover, investigators found $27,950 in cash hidden in clothing and held together in two bundles by elastic bands. "A narcotics detection canine later alerted for the odor of a controlled substance on the currency," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York said.

Erie County Sheriff's records show that one of the shotguns was reported stolen on September 23, 2015. Marijuana and a marijuana smoking pipe were also discovered inside a vehicle registered to Masecchia.

The criminal complaint stated that the explosives were made with hot glue, which is highly-risky and not a practice used by commercial explosive manufacturers because the heated tip of the glue gun could set off the flash powder.

Moreover, one of the rifles was discovered by the bed and near to ammunition, which the criminal complaint stated was likely positioned "in that way to allow quick and ready access."

"I have interviewed numerous individuals during the course of this ongoing investigation," stated Special Agent Curtis E. Ryan of Homeland Security Investigations in the criminal complaint against Masecchia.

"The cumulative information developed from multiple sources during this investigation establishes that Michael Masecchia has been involved in the growing and distribution of significant quantities of marijuana for at least the past 20 years in the Western District of New York."

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. said at a news conference yesterday that this is "part of a much larger and ongoing organized crime and public corruption investigation, so stay tuned."

The defendant appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer on Thursday afternoon and was released on conditions.

 new york teacher homemade explosives guns drugs
The homemade explosives discovered at the home of a New York teacher charged with drugs and weapon offenses. DoJ