A Buffalo high school teacher is facing illegal gun possession and marijuana distribution charges after a search of his Williamsville home last week.
Federal prosecutors said the search resulted in the seizure of seven homemade explosives, two rifles, five shotguns, nearly $28,000 in cash, a digital scale and a small amount of marijuana.
They claim Michael Masecchia, 53, has a 20-year history of being involved in the growing and distribution of significant amounts of marijuana and said numerous unnamed sources identified him as a drug dealer.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi said the case against Masecchia is rooted in the Aug. 23 search of his Main Street home by investigators from the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and the Erie County and Niagara County sheriffs offices.
“During the search of the residence, agents discovered a canvas bag in a closet in the master bedroom,” agents said in court papers. “Within that bag agents discovered the homemade explosives, the digital scale, six sandwich style bags containing marijuana and the suspected cocaine.”
Agents said one of the guns, a Kel-Tec semi-automatic rifle, was discovered between the mattress and box spring in the master bedroom with a loaded magazine on the nightstand. They are awaiting the results of tests to determine whether the suspected explosives are capable of being detonated.
In addition to the guns and explosives, investigators seized three Mason jars of marijuana, liquid and tablet steroids, hypodermic needles, THC edibles, cannabis syrup and two grams of a white powder suspected to be cocaine.
Investigators said the nearly $28,000 in cash was found hidden in clothing, rolled into two bundles and held together by rubber bands.
Arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer, Masecchia is charged with the distribution of marijuana, maintaining a drug-involved premise and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. He was released on conditions.
The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the legal process, a Buffalo Public Schools spokeswoman said.