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The Five Best Food-Related Crimes in Syracuse History

Just like pizza and hot dogs, Syracuse and food crimes go hand-in-hand. A recent chicken wing theft reminded us that Onondaga County (probably) leads in the nation in edible arrests.

People in Syracuse love their food. I mean, just look at their representative to the world. Whether it's sausage or Chinese food or profiteroles or not eating seafood or more sausage or hating on Denny's, Jim Boeheim's love for basketball is only dwarfed by his love of edible delights.

So it stands to reason that the city and surrounding area would rather his passion for foodstuff. Unfortunately, that passion gets the better of us and the hunger gets Syracuse folks into trouble. This week was a prime example as Syracuse father and son were arrested for trying to steal $41,000 worth of buffalo wings, which, to be fair, you would do too if you knew you could get away with it.

But is it the craziest food-based crime in Syracuse history? Not even close. (Well, actually, it's close). Let's take a trip down memory lane to relive the munchie magic we've gotten ourselves into...

5. Darwin's Restaurant & Bar Closes

"But Sean, there was no crime committed."


4. Take Your Hands Off Jim Boeheim's Sausage, You Son of a Bitch!

In May 2012, Jim Boeheim put his money where his mouth has been and invested in Hofmann Sausage, purveyor of sausages, hot dogs and other tubed meats. Other investors included Roger Staubach and Phil Romano (of the Macaroni Grill Romano's). The plan was to make Hofmann's #NewYorksSausageTeam and then expand beyond that but the plan hit a tiny snag when company president Frank Zaccanelli allegedly used the company like his own personal bank account to buy lavish gifts for his wife and girlfriend. The investors sued and Zaccanelli resigned as part of a settlement.

3. From Ziggy's Wagon to the Paddy Wagon

Back in my day, we used to trudge through miles of snow to get from Euclid Avenue to Marshall Street in order to drink and we liked it. And on the way back, we'd stop at Ziggy's Wagon for a late-night lukewarm slice of pizza that came with a side container of blue cheese (which tasted so good in the moment shame on us all). Turns out, we could have gotten so much more than a side of blue cheese. We could have gotten a side of cocaine if we only knew the password.

"A popular Syracuse University vendor who sold hotdogs and hamburgers will spend the next 37 months in federal prison for also selling marijuana and cocaine from his street wagon."

Out of respect for Ziggy and my colon, I've never dipped pizza in blue cheese since.

Fun Fact: Ziggy's Lives! Kinda!

2. "Forty One Thousand Dollars...Worth of Buffalo Wings"

Say that title with the Barry & Levon voice and it makes it all sound so sexy. So yeah, earlier this week, 56-year-old father Paul Rojek and 33-year-old son Joshua Rojek were arrested for the tastiest long con in town, stealing $41,000 worth of chicken wings from the Twin Trees Too! Restaurant.

The dynamic duo worked as cooks there and would submit extra orders of wings to the wholesaler, pay a reduced price and then keep the bonus bits for themselves. It was the perfectly-sauced crime and lasted for about ten months before they were caught, buffalo-wing-sauce-handed.

No word on how much reduced-price celery they collected as well.

1. The Greatest Pig-Carcass-Related Drug Deal of All Time

On June 5, 2009, Fulton police were doing surveillance on the 200 block of Merriman Avenue when two men stopped to conduct a drug transaction in plain site. The item for sale? A bag of cocaine. The legal tender used to purchase it? Some cash and half of a slaughtered pig.

But that's not the amazing part...

Colon told police this was not the first time he drove into Syracuse with a slaughtered pig to trade for drugs, Cecile said.

And THAT's not even the amazing part...

As police arrested the pair, a crowd gathered around them. When the officers turned from the suspects, the pig was gone.

That was the amazing part.