Martin Scorsese's Nephew Arrested in Heroin Bust, Prosecutors Say

By Nicholas Rizzi and Janon Fisher  on May 1, 2014 3:55pm

 Frank Scorsese, the nephew of Martin Scorsese, was arrested for dealing heroin to undercover police, prosecutors said.
Frank Scorsese, the nephew of Martin Scorsese, was arrested for dealing heroin to undercover police, prosecutors said.
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KW/Getty Images and DNAinfo New York

STATEN ISLAND — The nephew of "Mean Streets" director Martin Scorsese was charged Wednesday for selling heroin to undercover police, prosecutors said.

Frank Scorsese, 39, whose father Frank Sr. is the Academy Award-winning director's brother, was arraigned in the afternoon for selling drugs to police three times out of a Port Richmond auto repair shop.

The younger Scorsese sold heroin to undercovers twice at Mr. Fix It Autobody on Elizabeth Street, court papers said. The garage's owner John Santillo, 55, was also arrested for taking part in at least one of the drug sale, according to court papers.

When police searched Santillo's home, they found two handguns, five shotguns and one rifle, according to court papers. His lawyer declined to comment.

His wife, Lori Santillo, 57, was also charged, but her lawyer Kathleen Wallace argued at her arraignment on Thursday that she had no idea the guns were in the home.

"My client had no knowledge of the guns," Wallace said in court.

The two handguns were hidden behind a false panel in a first floor closet, court records said. The rifle was found in the garage and the shotguns found in a safe, court papers said.

Authorities recovered 272 glassines of heroin in a brown box in Santillo's home and a 10 alprazolam was also found on the property, court papers said.

In the autobody shop they recovered 75 glassines of heroin and another alprazolam pill, court papers said.

Scorsese was an employee at the autobody shop, but his lawyer argued in court that he was not involved with the sale.

"The primary person involved is [Santillo] not Mr. Scorsese," John Poppe said.

The manager of Ron's Collision, which shares an address with Mr. Fix It, said police swept through the property Wednesday asking for Scorsese and Santillo.

"It's the biggest shock," manager Anthony Barilla said. "To tell you the God's honest truth, he seems like a regular working guy to us."

Each sale netted Scorsese $200, according to court papers. Two of the sales to undercover officers were for 20 glassines of heroin, and one for 21 glassines.

All three plead not guilty at their arraignment on Thursday, and were charged with several counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance. John Santillo was also charged with falsifying business records.

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