A sex worker has been tied to the drug-overdose deaths of three men—including the head chef of a Cipriani restaurant in Manhattan, who was found stuffed inside a garbage can.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court charges that Angelina Barini, 41, plied her clients with narcotics, including the powerful opioid fentanyl, during rendezvous at seedy hotels in New York City.
In the span of a week, two of the johns died—but Barini and her pimp allegedly continued to drug her customers, and even robbed some of them once they were incapacitated, authorities said in court papers.
The first death was July 4 at a hotel in Astoria, Queens, where Barini was caught leaving the room on videotape. The man died of a lethal cocktail of booze, meth, cocaine, and fentanyl, officials said.
On July 11, a second man was found dead of a fentanyl overdose at another hotel in Queens, where Barini was again allegedly caught on videotape.
The next time a john turned up dead, Barini was in the room with the body, authorities said.
On Aug. 21, police looking for Andrea Zamperoni, who ran the kitchen at Cipriani Dolci, went to the Kamway Lodge in Elmhurst, Queens, and knocked on the door of Room 15.
“Shortly after Barini opened the door, law enforcement authorities smelled a strong odor consistent with the smell of a dead body and burning incense,” a Homeland Security Investigations agent wrote in an affidavit.
“Barini stated in sum and substance and in part that she did not do it, her pimp made her do it and it was not her.
“In the corner of the room, law enforcement authorities noticed what appeared to be a garbage can with bed linens stuffed inside and what appeared to be a bare human foot sticking out of the bed linens.”
The court papers identified the man only as John Doe-3 but the details match the case of Zamperoni, 33, who was reported missing after he missed his weekly call with his mother in Italy and then failed to show up for work.
According to the complaint, Zamperoni died on Aug. 18—the cause of death is pending toxicology reports—after Barini reportedly gave him liquid ecstasy.
Barini claimed her pimp would not let her call police. Instead, he and others came to the room and discussed cutting up the body—and investigators did find a power saw, an empty suitcase, and bleach in the room, although there was no “external trauma” to Zamperoni’s body.
Barini is charged with conspiracy to distribute substances containing fentanyl.