Woman faces drug charges in connection with the death of Cipriani chef

Angelina Barini, a prostitute, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one or more substances containing fentanyl, court documents say.

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By David K. Li

A 41-year-old woman was arrested and charged with drug offenses connected with the death of a noted New York City chef and two other men, a law enforcement source said Monday.

Angelina Barini was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one or more substances containing fentanyl, according to federal charging documents.

Andrea Zamperoni, head chef at Cipriani Dolci.NYPD

A law enforcement source told NBC News that her arrest is connected with the death of Andrea Zamperoni, 33, head chef of a landmark Manhattan restaurant Cipriani Dolci, a balcony restaurant and bar at Grand Central Terminal. Zamperoni is the man known as "John Doe 3" in documents charging Barini, the law enforcement source said.

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Barini has been linked to three men who have been found dead recently in Queens motels, on July 4 in Astoria, on July 11 in Woodside and on Wednesday at the Kamway Lodge in Elmhurst, according to the complaint.

Barini has told investigators she is a prostitute and was paid her for sex Aug. 18 — several days before the body of John Doe 3 was found, according to the criminal complaint written by Homeland Security Special Agent Joshua Futter.

"Between August 18 and August 21, 2019, video surveillance showed individuals including Barini entering and exiting" the Kamway Lodge room, according to the charging document. "However, it did not show (John Doe-3) leave the room."

That John Doe 3 was described as a "man from Italy," according to the complaint, and he "did not wake up and was bleeding from the nose and mouth."

Barini said that a pimp would not let her call the police, Futter wrote.

Then, "based on a New York City Police Department investigation," authorities arrived at the Kamway room Wednesday and Barini "opened the door and quickly shut it," according to Futter.

"Shortly after Barini opened the door, law enforcement authorities smelled a strong odor consistent with the smell of a dead body and burning incense. 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," Futter wrote.

Inside that room, authorities found "cellular telephones, clothing, a glass pipe commonly used to smoke drugs and an American Express credit card that was embossed with John Doe 3's name," the complaint said.

Also discovered in the Kamway room, called "Premises 3" in the complaint, were "bottles of bleach and bleach-covered towels" along with "a power saw and an empty suitcase," according to the complaint.