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Police seize drugs and cash at adult shop

Fantasy Island manager charged with felonies after raid

October 26, 2011
By BARBARA COOK , The Leader Herald

PERTH - An adult store on Route 30 was raided last week in a search that led to the arrest of its manager on drug charges.

Joseph A. Tambasco, 32, was arrested at Fantasy Island Adult Novelty Store after the search. State police said they seized cocaine, marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, drug paraphernalia and cash proceeds from narcotics sales.

"We had received some complaints from the public about illegal activity going on so we started an investigation and this is where it led us," Lt. Michael E. Tietz said.

Article Photos

State police said drugs were being sold from Fantasy Island, an adult store on Route 30 in Perth, pictured Tuesday.

Barbara Cook/The Leader-Herald

Mary Pawlus of Fort Pierce, Fla., who owns the property where the store is located, was shocked by the arrest.

"I was totally unaware," she said.

The store was closed Tuesday.

Owner Frederick Leonardi could not be reached for comment.

Tambasco, of Broadalbin, was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, felony criminal possession of marijuana, misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor criminally using drug paraphernalia. He was arraigned in Perth Town Court and sent to the Fulton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.

The eight-month investigation was conducted by state police members of the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation squads from the Mayfield and Fonda barracks.

Brenda Bell of Amsterdam, who identified herself today as Tambasco's sister, said he's "a good person and does what he has to do, but obviously got mixed up in the wrong company."

Fantasy Island is within sight of Broadalbin-Perth intermediate and middle schools, which are on County Highway 107.

Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said he was surprised to hear about drug activity at the establishment but was pleased by the arrest.

"For quite some time, the school has been concerned with that type of establishment being so close to the vicinity of the middle school, particularly in regards to having many of our middle school students walking home," he said.

"I am elated that the investigation took place and with the arrests that were made. It's an establishment that is not in a good standing in the views of the school district, and any efforts that can be made to keep a closer look at the activity there is definitely supported by the school district," he said.

Barbara Cook covers rural Fulton County. She can be reached at



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