Nicholas Tartaglione and Nanuet resident Joseph Biggs , who were charged in a 17-count indictment for their conspiracy to distribute cocaine and four alleged murders, pleaded not guilty in White Plains federal court on Thursday.
Late last year, the 49-year-old Tartaglione was charged in a five-count indictment for his participation in a drug conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and for the murders of four men, all of whom lived in Middletown in Orange County.
Tartaglione had worked as a police officer in Pawling, Mount Vernon and Yonkers prior to Briarcliff Manor.
Last week, Joon Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the arrest of Biggs - a former security guard within the Greenburgh-Graham Union Free School District - for his involvement in the alleged quadruple homicide.
According to the indictment that was filed in White Plains Federal Court last year, Tartaglione killed Martin Luna, 41, Urbano Santiago, 32, Miguel Luna, 25, and Hector Gutierrez, 43, at the Likquid Lounge - a bar that his brother reportedly managed for a time in the town of Chester in Orange County - when a cocaine deal went badly involving at least one of the victims.
Biggs allegedly helped Tartaglione get the men to the bar where they were killed. A third suspect, Hudson Valley Strongman Gerard Benderoth, may have also been connected to the quadruple homicide. Benderoth committed suicide in Rockland earlier this year, shooting himself in the head when approached by law enforcement officials with local police and the F.B.I.
It is alleged that Tartaglione drove with the bodies for approximately a half hour from the bar in Chester to his farm in Otisville, also in Orange. Four bodies would be removed from his property the day after he was arrested.
Biggs was taken into federal custody last week. Tartaglione has been in custody since being arrested last year.
Tartaglione and Biggs each face life in prison or the death penalty for a series of charges that include conspiracy to distribute cocaine, murder, use of a firearm in furthering a drug trafficking crime, kidnapping and interstate travel with the intent to commit a crime of violence. Both men are due in court later this year.