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Queens Chronicle

Queens man sentenced for drug crimes in NJ

Was acquitted of murder in December

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:25 am, Thu May 23, 2013.


The former Bayside bar owner who was acquitted in December of the murder of two South Queens men in New Jersey was sentenced to 13 years in prison on drug conspiracy charges.

Nicholas Kiriakakis, 29, of Richmond Hill was sent to prison last Friday after his sentence in a New Jersey courtroom.

He stood trial last year for the February 2010 murders of Jonathan Beneduce of Howard Beach and Michael Mirasola of Ozone Park. The two were shot to death in a car in Teaneck, NJ on Feb. 17, 2010.

Prosecutors tried to place Kiriakakis, who owned a bar in Bayside, at the scene by using EZ Pass records to show he had traveled to New Jersey and executed Beneduce and Mirasola. However, the jury acquitted him of those charges, but convicted him of lesser charges of conspiracy to distribute drugs and hindering apprehension. He was sentenced to an eight-year term for the conspiracy conviction and another five-year, consecutive term for the hindering offense. Kiriakakis must serve at least six and a half years before being eligible for parole.

Nick Beneduce, Johnathan’s father, said Kiriakakis’ sentence wasn’t long enough for the crimes he committed.

“As far as I’m concerned, he didn’t get enough time,” he said. “He shouldn’t be eligible for parole after 6 1/2 years.”

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