BROOKLYN (PIX11) – The grandson of former Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro — already accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend — was arrested Tuesday on federal weapons and drug charges, authorities said.
Steven Molinaro, 33, was indicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, attempted obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, according to federal court documents.
Molinaro, who has a lengthy rap sheet, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday afternoon. He was being temporarily detained until his lawyers present a bail package, authorities said. He is due back in court on Sept. 6.
On April 27, the defendant allegedly had a black Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol and two 9mm Luger cartridges that he tried to get rid of, prosecutors said. On the same day, authorities allege Molinaro was part of a group trying to peddle marijuana, per the indictment.
Molinaro was taken into custody while appearing in state court on Staten Island in his attempted murder case. He was out on bail in that state case.
Prosecutors said Molinaro used the same gun to shoot his ex-girlfriend in the chest in his Lyman Avenue home in Staten Island on April 27. Authorities found the woman lying next to a pool of blood in the master bedroom. Molinaro is accused of waiting an hour to call 911.
The defendant allegedly tried to pin the shooting on the victim’s ex-boyfriend and disposed of the 9mm Ruger in a black trash bag he put in the neighbor’s bin, prosecutors said. But his DNA was allegedly found on the weapon and on a shell casing found in the bedroom. Prosecutors also allege the woman identified Molinaro as the shooter after she underwent surgery, according to court records.
While authorities were searching the home, they found 43 kilograms of marijuana, a money counter, a scale with drug residue, and about $161,000 in cash, according to court documents. One of Molinaro’s accomplices was allegedly caught on surveillance video hiding some of the money in a dog house outside the home.
In 2016, the defendant was convicted of possessing marijuana in New Jersey and selling marijuana
in California. In March 2017, Molinaro was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, according to court filings.
In 2006, Molinaro was convicted of assault with intent to cause serious physical injury and was convicted for contempt of court the following year, officials said.