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Fox business producer and real estate broker implicated in NY cocaine ring will serve 5 days of community service

August 1, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Fox business producer and real estate broker implicated in NY cocaine ring will serve 5 days of community service

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A television producer for the Fox Business Network, along with a real estate broker, have both pleaded guilty to purchasing cocaine but ironically won’t spend a day behind bars.

According to the Daily Mail, 30-year-old Katie Welnhofer with the Fox Business Network, and 24-year-old Austin Dodson, an employee of Cushman and Wakefield were caught after an extensive year-long undercover investigation into New York City drug dealers.

The pair were both intercepted by police after they were recorded ordering drugs over the phone. The pair was arrested at the end of last month.

Both have reportedly settled their cases and are only ordered to perform just five days of community service.

Additionally, 32-year-old Richard Pernesiglio also pleaded guilty to the same charges in Manhattan Criminal Court this week, the New York Daily News reported.

He is seen leaving Manhattan Criminal Court after his family, including his girlfriend Roz Savoie (left) bailed him out

He is seen leaving Manhattan Criminal Court after his family, including his girlfriend Roz Savoie (left) bailed him out

All of those convicted will be required to perform their community service at Pa’lante Harlem, a nonprofit center. Their case made national headlines after the Manhattan District Attorney published the indictment.

Among those charged in the case include a group of rich New Yorkers, including Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s Chief Marketing Officer. Welnhofer was terminated from her position after she was brought into court. Her lawyer, John Buza, had previously asserted that she was innocent.

Welnhofer, a graduate from Northwestern, was seen in New York’s Supreme Court on June 30th sporting a gray jumpsuit and handcuffs after she was arrested.

On June 22nd, just seven days before her arrest, the woman was seen schmoozing with colleagues at a Building Homes for Heroes Event in honor of Fox News Host, Sean Hannity.

She was pictured at a table with Greg Kelly, son of former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and the host of Fox’s Good Day New York.
Fox and Friends weekend host Anna Koiman posted the picture of her table on Sunday afternoon, only four days after it was announced that Welnhofer was implicated in the cocaine ring.

Welnhofer was first brought into court only one day before her 30th birthday.

Cops began wire-tapping a chain of alleged dealers for the affluent when they discovered details of someone who had dealt drugs to a Wall Street banker who jumped to his death from the roof his apartment building last year. According to court documents, all listed in the indictment were charged with the possession of a controlled substance.

After the incident, a year-long investigation began divulging the extensive drug ring that sold $75,000 of cocaine and worked from the Lower East Side.

Three drug lords Kenny ‘Jay’ Hernandez, Felix Nunez, and Oscar Almonte were also arrested for their involvement. They allegedly utilized delivery services to transport cocaine to customers throughout New York City.

The investigation is believed to have started after investment banker Thomas Hughes leaped to his death from his 24th-floor apartment in May of 2015. Reports indicate that authorities found the number of his dealer on his cell phone when they searched his home.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance told reporters at the time that “Drug dealers profit by sowing seeds of addiction that destroy lives, families, and communities.”

Welnhofer, who was recorded asking for drugs over the phone in an NYPD sting, will only do five days of community service

Welnhofer, who was recorded asking for drugs over the phone in an NYPD sting, will only do five days of community service

Vance continued, “We are dedicated to stemming both the supply and demand for dangerous narcotics, and the crime that accompanies the market for illegal drugs.

“I thank my Office’s prosecutors and our partners at the NYPD, and in particular, the undercover detectives who put their lives at risk to protect our City’s residents,” said William J. Bratton, NYPD Police Commissioner announced in a statement.

Bratton added: “This narcotics operation was organized and discreet, but it could not withstand the precision of this long-term investigation.

Selling cocaine in a variety of bars and clubs throughout Manhattan, the ringleader also allegedly sold to NYPD undercovers on more than a dozen instances. I commend the brave work of all the investigators who built this case, along with the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit at District Attorney Vance’s Office.”

Hernandez managed the ring and conducted the majority of the sales, including eleven separate transactions with undercover detectives.

The indictment also suggests that members of the ring purportedly utilized car services to carry the drugs to buyers, which included deliveries made to delis, restaurants, bars, apartments, hotels, and even the buyers’ workplaces.

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