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Trenton man pleads not guilty to drug trafficking charges

A little over a week ago, prosecutors announced drug trafficking charges against Joseph "JoJo" Giorigianni and two other men.

Giorigianni is also charged in the corruption case against Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and the mayor's brother, Ralphiel Mack.

Giorigianni is accused of operating an oxycodone distribution ring out of JoJo's Steak House, which he owns. The painkillers were allegedly distributed to customers in Mercer, Essex and Atlantic counties, prosecutors said.

Giorigianni denies the allegations.

Giorigianni, 63 years old, reportedly operated what prosecutors called a "clearing house" for the drugs out of his North Trenton eatery.

They say he and his co-conspirators obtained doctor's prescriptions for oxycodone and then sold the pills. If convicted on the charges, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in a federal prison.

About three weeks ago, a former City Hall worker pleaded guilty in a drug distribution case and claimed Giorigianni was in charge of the trafficking ring.

Giorigianni's girlfriend has also been indicted on the drug trafficking charges, officials said. She apparently ran the restaurant known for its steak sandwiches.

The U.S. Attorney claims Giorigianni used 27 different oxycodone prescriptions in his name to collect and then distribute the painkillers.

The FBI said it has recorded calls in which the restaurant owner, his long-time girlfriend and others discussed drug sales in code, referring to the pills as "steak sandwiches," "steaks" and other terms.

Anyone facing similar drug trafficking accusations understands that harsh penalties come with conviction, making their choice of a criminal defense attorney critical.

Source:, "JoJo Giorgianni pleads not guilty to drug dealing charges separate from Trenton mayor corruption case," March 21, 2013

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