Police believe they have connected at least one additional fatal drug overdose in the case of a Queens prostitute facing federal drug charges in the deaths of three men, including the Italian chef of the high-end Cipriani Dolci restaurant in Manhattan, a top NYPD official said Friday.
“We believe there are at least four fatal overdoses, there are a number of nonfatal overdoses and that work is still ongoing,” Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said about the continuing NYPD probe into the activities of Angelina Barini, 41, the admitted prostitute.
Barini was arrested last month on federal drug conspiracy charges and accused in a Brooklyn federal court criminal complaint in a case in which investigators believe at least two of her clients died from acute intoxication due to the combined effects of alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl, court papers stated.
Police also believe that the death of chef Andrea Zamperoni, whose body was found Aug. 21 in the Kamway Lodge in Elmhurst, was drug-related. The city medical examiner has listed the cause of death as pending further study.
Barini told investigators that Zamperoni paid her for sex at the lodge but didn’t wake up and started bleeding from his nose and mouth, the complaint stated. She blamed her unnamed pimp for giving drugs to the clients, the complaint said. In the case of Zamperoni, Barini told investigators he had been given liquid Ecstasy and when he died, she and at least one other person discussed dismembering his body. Police said Zamperoni’s body was found intact but wrapped in a bed linen and placed in a garbage pail.
Shea said investigators believed Barini’s routine was to drug clients so that they could be robbed while unconscious. Barini is being held without bail in a federal jail. Defense attorney Mildred Whalen declined to comment Friday.
“What we do know is that there is a history of here, with Angelina, we believe, of going to locations with men, stealing property after they pass out,” Shea told reporters during an unrelated news briefing.
Shea also indicated that the deaths of some women from drug overdoses was also being investigated, although he didn’t elaborate.
“It is an ongoing investigation. We believe there is more than three [deaths], Shea said. “You will hear more about this case.”