“Kratom addiction” used as defense in trial of Customs Officer who stole thousands from travelers

“Kratom addiction” used as defense in trial of Customs Officer who stole thousands from travelers

Joseph Cialone, a US Customers officer, is being charged with a felony for stealing approximately $10,000 from travelers coming into the United States in violation of 18 U.S. Code § 654. Over a period of a year, Cialone would target handbags and discreetly snatch money with a closed fist, then remove the latex glove from the fist, pocketing the glove with the cash.

Now his defense attorney is blaming an addiction to kratom on Cialone’s dishonesty. By golly he needed the money for his kratom fix! Isn’t that obvious?

Kratom was not mentioned in initial reports from April 2019, a month after Officer Cialone was caught red-handed stealing $100 from a woman flying in from Trinidad and Tobago. Kratom only came into the picture recently, after his Manhattan attorney had time to build a defense.

Noah Goldberg, writer for New York Daily News, is apparently so green that he takes defense attorneys at their word. More likely, found a story he could plug into the “drug hysteria” news format for a few clicks, which is more important than journalistic integrity. Good old drug hysteria!

From Goldberg’s story hilariously entitled “JFK customs officer stole cash from hundreds of travelers to fund Kratom addiction“:

“Mr. Cialone did what so many desperate drug addicts do to support a habit — he violated everything he believed and stole money,” wrote his lawyer, Richard Rosenberg in court papers Tuesday.

Cialone’s untreated ADHD, anxiety and depression led him to self-medicate with the drug, according to Rosenberg.

“Kratom pills would cost him $25 and he would take multiple pills each day costing him up to $110 each day,” Rosenberg wrote.

Math is hard.

So instead of finding a cheaper source that costs less than $110 for “multiple pills” (every source that exists here in Reality), the US Customs officer (starting salary $52,000 with a $10,000 per year increase in the first five years) decided to throw away his livelihood because he just needed that fix maaaan!

“Instead of seeking the help he needed, Joseph self-medicated with a drug that is considered legal in this country. This drug, although considered ‘all natural,’ led to the downfall of my son’s life,” wrote Deborah Capobianco, Cialone’s mother, to the federal judge in his case.

More likely your son is a kleptomaniac and a sociopath addicted to the rush he gets from stealing and having power over the people he’s screwed. Despite multiple reports in the past of US Customs agents stealing from travelers, the Guilty-but-Addicted-to-Kratom plea is apparently good enough for New York Daily News to report with a straight face. Were all the thieves working for US Customs addicted to kratom? Has addiction to this dangerous leaf reached epidemic proportions among our brave and moral federal officers?

Cialone is scheduled to be sentenced on October 1st. He could face a fine in the amount of money stolen, or up to 10 years in prison.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Rebecca Jamin

    Thank uo3so much for writing this article. It’s well done, to the point and, above sll else, TRUE!
    This guy, blaming kratom, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve read in some time.
    He’s just an ordinary thief. Maybe he’s an addict too, but I’ll bet he’s not addicted to kratom.

  2. kendell clark

    I actually read the attached article on the code, and it was surprisingly understandable and not full of lawyer speak. The guy can’t claim ignorance anyway, but it’s good to see that the law is written in clear, understandable language, and in current english. This section of it anyway. I’ve never heard of any kratom pills, except possibly extracts, that cost that much, and I’m not even certain of extracts. Even if they are that much, and most of them aren’t, he’d have to take extremely high amounts of those pills to require a refill every single day, which makes me wonder if he was really on something else, an illegal narcotic or a doctor prescribed one but he was getting his meds from some thing or some one else? We’ll likely never know, but us kratom warriors know this news article is garbage. The new york daily news, not Bryan’s. This one is hilariously to the point. Onward, Kratom soldiers. Sorry, couldn’t resist

    1. Stan Roberts

      I don’t know a lot about the risks of overdose or bad side effects of Kratom, but addiction to it on the other hand I know quite a bit about. This is coming from a father of a 29 year old that is addicted to it in a fierce way. I’m sure you’ve heard of Mit45 (liquid bottles)? He buys these at a local convenience stores at 24.99 a bottle and he buys two sometimes 3 a day. I guess the euphoria lasts about 4 hrs per bottle, so I’m assuming it lasts all day. He is spending 1800.00 per month or more for this stuff and he say’s he has tried to quit, but can’t. It’s gotten to the point he is going broke between pay periods and was recently caught using his brothers debit card and making 5 charges on it over 5 days without his knowledge because he was broke…..the total was 259.00. Its gotten to the point its effecting his daily life. He works a lot of overtime, but recently at the start of a work week (a Monday) he didn’t go in at all and the rest of the week he didn’t go in to work early. It was because he didn’t have money for gas! His brother works regular hours at the same place, so he rode with him and worked regular hours for that week. So hearing this guys explanation that he did it because addiction may actually not be far from the truth. In low doses and occasional use I’m sure its great, but with all things that are good there is always a bad side and in my sons case it was overuse that lead to a severe addiction.

      1. Brian

        Hi Stan. 1) We hear stories like this where it ends up that the kratom addict is really using opioids or heroin. Are you sure he’s just admitting to the kratom because it’s not illegal? There’s a lot of evidence in the scientific literature that this kind of behavior involves multiple drug use, especially with opioids, but there’s not much evidence of kratom addicts behaving this way. 2) However people can get addicted to kratom. if he’s completely off of opioids, I’m totally interested in corresponding and possibly interviewing actual kratom addicts for this page. But to help he should taper. If he was my son I would buy him a pound of plain, natural leaf kratom (not the extracts) and tell him to suck it up as long as he can between doses of two teaspoons only (that’s about 5 grams), and either make it into a tea or if he eats it, drink lots of water. Then gradually take more time between does. A super safe amount of natural leaf kratom would be 5-10 grams/day (2-4 teaspoons). As many of us know though, an addict can’t break his addiction to anything unless he first wants to. This is a new page we just put up last week – hopefully this helps. https://www.kratomscience.com/tolerance-and-tapering/

  3. kendell clark

    oh my god, I needed that laugh. When I first saw it I was ready to tear some heads off, but this has eaten away tons and tons of acumulated stress. Every single time a “kratom is bad” article comes up I hope you’ll do this, we can all use a laugh or ten

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