DiTrapano arrested on gun charges

By Chris Dickerson | Jun 15, 2006

Dante DiTrapano

CHARLESTON – Embattled Charleston attorney Dante DiTrapano was arrested Thursday on firearms possessions charges after another run-in with the law over the weekend.

DiTrapano, 43, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Stanley, who remanded him to the custody of U.S. marshals. A detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

He had the guns while he was addicted to a controlled substance, according to Thursday's indictment. DiTrapano apparently lied when he filled out a form while buying a gun in February. He said he wasn't an unlawful user of any drug.

Last weekend, DiTrapano was cited with four driving related charges Sunday after a State Trooper pulled him over near St. Albans because of an expired state inspection sticker.

In a Kanawha County Magistrate Court complaint, Trooper First Class B.H. Moore said he saw a black 2000 GMC Yukon traveling eastbound on Kanawha Terrace near Green Valley Road just before noon Sunday. The SUV had a Motor Vehicle Inspection Sticker that expired in April.

When Moore turned around on the vehicle, he noticed the registration on the license plate ZDADDY was expired as well.

Moore stopped DiTrapano in the parking lot of the Naranatha Church. Then, DiTrapano could not produce a current operator's license.

"A records check was conducted which revealed the privilege to drive in the State of West Virginia was suspended for points and unpaid citations," the complaint states. "It was further learned the defendant had a prior conviction for driving suspended with a conviction date of Nov. 21, 2005."

The complaint also says DiTrapano could not produce valid proof of insurance.

After appearing before Kanawha Magistrate Marva L. Crouch, DiTrapano was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

DiTrapano's recent string of troubles began in March when he and his wife Teri were arrested at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Hilton Hotel and charged with possession of crack cocaine. Both of them were released on bond from Pinellas County Jail. The couple, as well as three individuals from the area, also was arrested for possession and a variety of other charges. Those charges still are pending.

Officials said there were 73 pieces of crack cocaine and 21 grams of powder cocaine in the room when the arrests occurred. Dante DiTrapano told officers he and the others were having one last party before he entered a drug rehab facility there.

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.

In April, federal, state and local agents confiscated guns, ammunition, prescription drugs, drug paraphernalia and other personal items during a six-hour search of the DiTrapano home.

More than 15 members of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Metro Drug Unit, Charleston Police Department and the State Police took part in the search April 6 at DiTrapano's home at 1340 Johnson Road in the South Hills section of Charleston.

Officers seized three crack cocaine pipes, a piece of something they suspect is crack cocaine, a plastic bag of off-white chunks and residue and several items with white residue, including two metal spoons, a knife, a screwdriver and a laptop computer.

Agents also found miscellaneous white particles in the rug in the master bedroom and a ratchet with a Chor-Boy inside the end. A ratchet pipe with a Chor-Boy, which is steel wood pad, essentially is a homemade crack pipe, according to authorities.

Also confiscated were three 9 mm pistols, two .32 magnum revolvers, a .380 pistol, a .35 revolver, several boxes of ammo and gun boxes.

Other items taken were a phone bill, a handwritten letter and a blue diary of Teri DiTrapano, Dante DiTrapano's wife. The diary was dated Feb. 3, 2006. The last entry was dated April 4.

In May, Teri DiTrapano and son Zachary were arrested on misdemeanor charges after State Troopers responded to a call in Charleston's South Hills section.

Zachary DiTrapano was charged with underage drinking, according a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court. Teri DiTrapano was arrested for obstructing a police officer after she arrived at the scene.

Teri DiTrapano apparently arrived at the scene shortly thereafter and was told her son was under arrest. She reportedly became "loud and agitated" when the officer asked her to leave. When she refused, she was placed under arrest as well, the complaint states. She jerked her arms away as the officer tried to handcuff her, the complaint states.

Also in May, NFL star Randy Moss dropped Dante DiTrapano as his agent.

Moss, a Kanawha County native who now plays for the Oakland Raiders, now is represented by attorney Tim DiPiero, who is a member of DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero along with DiTrapano.

Dante DiTrapano's name, however, 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.

DiPiero had represented Moss as an agent and attorney since 1995 when Moss was accused of kicking a classmate at DuPont High School. Moss later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.

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