Norwalk man to get seven years for viscous Thanksgiving drug robbery
STAMFORD — A Norwalk man will be sentenced to seven years in jail for a violent drug burglary last Thanksgiving when he stabbed and slashed the victim nine times.
Luke Sweeney, 23, pleaded guilty this week to a reduced charge of first-degree burglary and first-degree assault. Sweeney, of Ludlow Manor, was originally charged in February with home invasion, which carries a minimum 10-year sentence if convicted. He has been jailed since his arrest on $500,000 bond.
Sweeney’s attorney, William Pelletreau, declined to comment on the disposition until after his client is sentenced in December.
Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek said Sweeney and two others broke into the Midwood Road home of Branden Ventrella at 1 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
Ferencek said Sweeney burst into Ventrella’s room and slashed the 28-year-old nine times all over his body.
Ventrella fought back and wounded Sweeney, who suffered a large cut on his hand.
Ferencek said the masked intruders intended to steal drugs from Ventrella.
A month after Sweeney and his co-defendants, Joseph Ponger, 23, and Michael Maiorino, 25, were charged with the burglary, Ventrella was charged with operating a drug factory, possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and other offenses.
Police said they found 700 Xanax pills, 1.5 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale, $9,000 in cash and packaging supplies inside Ventrella’s home.
Ferencek said Ventrella admitted to selling marijuana out of his home.
Ponger and Maiorino will decide whether to accept their plea agreements when they appear in court later this month.
Sweeney was given a five-year suspended sentence, which he could be made to serve if he violates his probation when he’s released from jail.