Bonsai Pipe and Tobacco owner pleads guilty to drug conspiracy

WAVY/Andy Fox
WAVY/Andy Fox

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The owner of the Bonsai Pipe and Tobacco stores pleaded guilty in Newport News on Monday to drug conspiracy.

Salvatore Lopiccolo, 35, of Newport News was arrested November 21 after officials executed search warrants at his two stores in York County and Hampton. At the time, officials said four residences in Newport News and Hampton were also part of the investigation.

Photos: Investigation at Bonsai Pipe and Tobacco

Lopiccolo’s arrest occurred after his indictement by a federal grand jury on November 14, according to Margaret Jahn with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

On Monday, United States District Judge Magistrate Judge Douglas Miller accepted a guilty plea from Lopiccolo for conspiracy to distribute analogues, cocaine, cocaine base, methylone, marijuana, psilocybin and drug paraphernalia.

Jahn said a statement of the facts filed with the guilty plea indicates Lopiccolo was responsible for a conspiracy to distribute a variety of drugs and drug analogues from the York County location of Bonsai Pipe and Tobacco.

“Multiple controlled purchases of cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, methylone, psilocybin, drug analogues and drug paraphernalia were made from Bonsai, the defendant and Bonsai employees,” Jahn said.

Lopiccolo will be sentenced on July 24 in Norfolk. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

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