FLINT — A Lansing man who was arrested Thursday by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for methamphetamine trafficking and a weapons charge has been indicted by a federal grand jury and released on bond, according to documents filed in federal court.
Paul Diponio, 48, was released Friday on an unsecured $10,000 bond from the Genesee County Jail, and will be free until the disposition of the charges he is facing in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Further dates for court proceedings have not yet been scheduled.
According to the terms of Diponio’s bond, he must provide a DNA sample, not violate any federal, state or local law, may not use alcohol, must participate in an inpatient/outpatient drug treatment program, and must submit to random drug testing. He must also report to pretrial services and is prohibited from leaving the state.
Diponio was charged Thursday by the United States Attorney with “knowingly and intentionally possess(ing) with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine” and also “knowingly possessed a firearm, a Taurus model PT111 G2 9mm handgun, in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.”
Court filings also indicate a public defender has been appointed to represent Diponio, who was taken into custody without incident Thursday at the headquarters of the Avengers Motorcyle Club on Chipman Street in Owosso.
According to the indictment, Diponio faces five to 40 years in prison, four years of supervised release, and/or a possible $5 million fine for one count of possession with intent to distribute meth, though penalties may be enhanced if Diponio has previously been convicted of a felony drug offense.
For the firearm possession charge, he faces five years up to life in prison, three years of supervised release, and/or a fine of $250,000. In addition, any term of incarceration from this count must be served consecutively to any other sentence.
For the two other possession of meth with intent to distribute charges, Diponio faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and/or a $1 million fine. Prosecutors may seek enhanced sentencing if Diponio has a prior felony drug conviction.
DiPonio’s grand jury indictment was under seal until his arrest in Owosso Thursday, the same day U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hluchaniuk ordered the indictment unsealed.
According to a motion filed by government attorneys Nov. 6, the indictment was under seal because “the U.S. (was) apprehensive that one or more persons may flee the jurisdiction, or that possibly, other evidence may be destroyed if they become aware of the existence of said indictment and arrest warrants.”
Diponio was charged by Shiawassee County prosecutors Sept. 30 with felony delivery/manufacture of a Schedule 1, 2 or 3 drug, as well as several traffic-related misdemeanors, following a June 14 traffic stop by Michigan State Police.
Additionally, the state felony meth charge against DiPonio was dismissed by Shiawassee County prosecutors the same day, according to online district court records.
According to dates in the indictment, Diponio has been under investigation for the alleged offenses since at least June 2018.
In Shiawassee County, Diponio has no criminal history except for the charges filed by prosecutors in September that were dismissed. Online court records for Genesee, Saginaw, Ingham and Clinton counties show no results for Diponio. The Michigan Department of Corrections Online Tracking Information System also has no record for Diponio.