Police vehicles surround the Charleston home of attorney Dante DiTrapano on Thursday. DiTrapano was arrested on crack cocaine charges last month in Florida.
Authorities scour the Charleston property of attorney Dante DiTrapano on Thursday. DiTrapano was arrested on crack cocaine charges last month in Florida. The faces of the undercover agents are slightly blurred to protect their identities.
CHARLESTON – Local and federal agents raided the home of Charleston attorney Dante DiTrapano on Thursday morning.
Metro Drug Unit vehicles, as well as Charleston police and State Police vehicles, were reported seen at the DiTrapano residence, which is located at the corner of Johnson and Harmon roads in Charleston's South Hills area.
A woman who answered the phone at the Metro Drug Unit headquarters said officers had been out all Thursday morning "serving a warrant with another agency," reportedly the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. ATF officials would not confirm or deny they were conducting an investigation at the DiTrapanos' residence.
DiTrapano and his wife Teri were arrested March 14 at the St. Petersburg Hilton Hotel and charged with possession of crack cocaine. Both of them were released on bond from Pinellas County Jail last week.
The couple, as well as three individuals from the area -- Glinder Cecil, James D. Harper and James A. Lockett -- also were arrested for possession and a variety of other charges.
Officials said there were 73 pieces of crack cocaine and 21 grams of powder cocaine in the room when the arrests occurred. Dante DiTrapano, an attorney at DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero, told officers he and the others were having one last party before he entered a drug rehab facility there.
Teri DiTrapano had a $5,000 bond posted for her by a bondsman on March 16. Dante DiTrapano had his $5,000 bond posted March 17 on the condition that he be taken for treatment. He was released to HealthCare Connections of Tampa.
DiTrapano, who went to college in Florida, had rented three rooms for a one-night stay at the hotel. He told investigators he is an agent for a number of NFL players. That includes Oakland Raiders wide receiver and Kanawha County native Randy Moss.
The media release from the St. Petersburg Police Department said DiTrapano created a disturbance at his room, prompting the management to call police. Officers located the illegal drugs when they arrived at the rooms to investigate the call.
DiTrapano was arrested again March 26 in Pinellas County, Fla., on a warrant for failing to appear at a motion hearing in connection with the crack cocaine charges.
DiTrapano was in the intensive care unit of a Tampa hospital late in March, but a spokeswoman said Thursday that DiTrapano no longer was a patient there.
DiTrapano, who represents NFL giant and Rand native Randy Moss, is a partner in the law firm of DiTrapano, Barrett and DiPiero. In recent weeks, however, DiTrapano's name has been taken off a sign outside the law firm's downtown office and his biography and information has been removed from the firm's Web site.
Representatives of DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero, DiTrapano's firm, did not return calls seeking comment and more information Thursday. DiTrapano's profile no longer is on the firm's Web site and his name has been removed from the sign outside the firm's Charleston office. Robert Heyman, DiTrapano's attorney in Florida, also didn't return calls seeking comment Thursday.
DiTrapano's firm is one used by Attorney General Darrell McGraw in a lawsuit against drug maker Purdue Pharma over alleged misrepresentation in marketing OxyContin pills.
When Purdue Pharma settled McGraw's suit for $10 million in 2004, the outside attorneys received a third of the settlement -- $3,333,333.33. The attorneys and the firms split the fee into four equal portions - $833,333.33 each.
Both DiTrapano and his wife also were among attorneys and family members of his firm who contributed at least $30,000 to McGraw's 2004 re-election campaign. That figure represents nearly 15 percent of all the contributions McGraw received in that run, according to campaign financial statements filed with the state Secretary of State's office.
Dante and Teri DiTrapano each made the maximum $2,000 in contributions -- $1,000 for the primary election and $1,000 for the general election.