Drug kingpin sentenced to 30 years in prison; Capitanio had tipped him off to raid


ALBANY, N.Y. — A drug kingpin who was arrested in a 2013 raid on his home in Stephentown, N.Y., has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Joshua Stegemann, 39, was sentenced in federal court on multiple drug and weapons charges Wednesday after a jury found him guilty in August 2015 of running a drug distribution ring.

A wiretap indicated that Paul Capitanio, a Pittsfield city councilor at the time, had tipped off an associate of Stegemann's, that a drug raid would be happening at the Stephentown house in April 2013. Capitanio had been purchasing drugs from the associate.

A multi-agency raid on the property on April 30, 2013, uncovered a pound of heroin, more than 700 grams of cocaine, illegal prescription pills, multiple firearms and nearly $300,000 in cash buried in coolers on the property.

Less than a week later, police discovered a safe belonging to Stegemann hidden in Pittsfield that held an additional $160,000 in cash, according to prosecutors.

Following his sentence, Stegemann will be subject to lifetime court supervision.

"This was a joint investigation initiated by the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and grew to include the DEA, Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police," Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said in a statement released Friday. "The cooperation among the agencies was a model for law enforcement practices, with communities in two states benefitting from their combined efforts."

In May 2015, Capitanio pleaded guilty to one count of being an accessory after the fact in distribution of oxycodone and one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws in Berkshire Superior Court.

He was sentenced to two years of probation.

The investigation resulted in the indictment of a total of 15 people, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. Other than Stegemann, 12 of the people charged eventually pleaded guilty and two "cooperated with investigators."

Stegemann has twice previously been convicted of drug charges in Berkshire Superior Court.

He received a two- to three-year prison sentence for trafficking in cocaine in 1999 and a 10- to 12-year sentence following a second conviction on trafficking in cocaine in 2003.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376


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