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Geraldine Ferraro’s Son Major Campus Cocaine Supplier, Police Say

February 22, 1986

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (AP) _ The son of former vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro was a major cocaine supplier on the Middlebury College campus and was known as ″The Pharmacist,″ police said.

John Zaccaro Jr., 22, pleaded innocent Friday in Vermont District Court to possession of a regulated drug with intent to sell. He was released on his own recognizance.

Zaccaro, a Middlebury College senior who had been under investigation for several months, was arrested after he sold one-quarter gram of cocaine to an undercover officer Thursday, police said.

A search of Zaccaro’s car and off-campus apartment turned up a list of people believed to be involved in drug transactions with Zaccaro, according to an affidavit filed by police. Six to eight grams of cocaine and about $1,500 the affidavit said was ″directly related″ to cocaine trafficking were found in the apartment, police said.

The maximum penalty for possession of a regulated drug with intent to sell is five years in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Zaccaro was a major campus cocaine dealer whose nickname was ″The Pharmacist,″ police Sgt. David Wemette said.

″I was told by numerous people in the past that he was one of the major suppliers up there (at the college),″ Wemette said. ″I was told he dealt before when he was here.

″He took a year off when he was on the campaign trail with his mother. He was a dealer when he came back,″ Wemette said.

Zaccaro’s parents, Ferraro and John Zaccaro Sr., were not at Friday’s arraignment. Ferraro was on a speaking tour in Hawaii, and Zaccaro’s father was unable to leave New York because of bad weather.

Both issued statements supporting their son.

″Our son John has had some legal difficulty,″ Ferraro said. ″We have hired an attorney to represent him. We love him and have confidence in him and will be standing beside him.″

John is the couple’s middle child. The other two are daughters, Donna and Laura.

Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin said Ferraro called her, ″as a friend,″ seeking a recommendation for a lawyer. Kunin said she suggested Charles Tetzlaff. A status hearing will be held within a month.

″It just makes me sick. I feel for all of them,″ Kunin said.

Middlebury College spokesman Ronald Nief said no action would be taken by the school pending the outcome of the case, and that he did not know what action might be taken then.

Ferraro, a member of Congress from the New York City borough of Queens, made history in 1984 when Democrat Walter Mondale chose her to become the first woman to run as a candidate on a major party ticket.

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