Couple, 69, Convicted of Cocaine Trafficking|
By David Abel, Globe Staff/Aug 1, 2006
A 69-year-old man whom prosecutors called a major supplier of Boston’s cocaine in the 1990s was convicted yesterday of trafficking hundreds of grams of the drug.
Andrew F. Schlehuber, Jr., known to customers as “The Cheese”, was found guilty in Suffolk Superior Court of trafficking in 100 grams or more of cocaine, an offense punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $100,000, prosecutors said.
He also was convicted of three counts of trafficking in 28 grams or more of cocaine, four counts of cocaine distribution, and single counts of conspiracy to traffic in 200 grams of cocaine and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, prosecutors said.
Schlehuber’s wife, Winifred, also 69, was acquitted of a single count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, prosecutors said.
“Today’s verdict…holds accountable a man who funneled vast amounts of a deadly drug into our streets and neighborhoods, addicting men and women, black and white, young and old alike, in a poisonous enterprise driven only by the desire for profit,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement.
The Schlehubers could not be reached at their home in Stoughton.
One of their seven children, Kevin Schlehuber of Walpole, said that before the verdict his father had to be taken from court in Boston to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Kevin Schlehuber and another brother said their father had suffered a mild heart attack.
“You don’t know how much this hurts,” Kevin Schlehuber said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know what to tell my kids about their grandfather. He has 25 grandchildren.”
He said his father was expected to remain at the hospital overnight.
Another brother, who asked that his first name not be published, said of his father: “He’s doing as good as he can do, but it’s a death sentence, even if it’s just 10 years. None of us are doing well. We were all blind-sided by this.”
Both brothers said their father intends to appeal the verdict.
Prosecutors said Schlehuber operated an “elaborate cocaine enterprise” out of his West Roxbury home, supplying cocaine to “numerous individuals” for at least 10 years.
The Schlehubers came to the attention of authorities in 2000, when police observed “significant” foot traffic in and out of their LaGrange Street home. Police later searched the home and found more than 100 grams of cocaine, a cereal box full of marijuana, and records with the names and preferences of numerous drug buyers, prosecutors said.
A Suffolk grand jury indicted the Schlehubers as drug dealers in June 2002.
At trial, one of the Schlehuber’s clients, Mark Smith, told the jury he had bought seven grams of cocaine from Schlehuber every day for more than five years. Smith, reportedly the former owner of Finagle a Bagle in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, testified he bought cocaine almost exclusively from Andrew Schlehuber.
@copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company