Sentencing Spotlights “Greek Connection”

NORWALK, Conn. – John Yerinides of Norwalk was sentenced on Feb. 26 to 32 months in federal prison for trafficking cocaine as part of a wider drug ring, the Norwalk Daily Voice reported.

Yerinides, 51, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Connecticut announced. His sentence includes time served.

Another Greek-American, Konstantinos Zografidis, was implicated in the drug ring and has pled guilty, the agency wrote. Authorities wiretapped Yerinides and communications by him to Zografidis, requesting obtaining large quantities of cocaine for further distribution, were intercepted 180 times. Zografidis was identified, the Voice agency, as a primary distributor of cocaine and also oxycodone.

Yerinides and Zografidis were arrested in June 2012 for the drug trafficking as were other Greek-Americans: Vasiliki “Vaso” Papadakos, Dimitrios Karpidis, Savas Giannouglou, Ioannis “Johnny” Papachristou, then-Norwalk Sheriff Efstrati Papadakos, and his uncle Demetrios Papadakos’ uncle Demetrios, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in running the drug ring, the Norwalk Daily Voice reported. Former Sheriff Papadakos pled guilty to possession of marijuana, not trafficking, and was given probation.

The most prominent member of the drug ring is Alfred Catino, who pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Catino reportedly played a role in the French Connection drug smuggling operation that inspired the Oscar-winning film of the same name, the Norwalk newspaper The Hour reported.

The Yerinides case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vanessa Richards and Michael Runowicz.



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