A Long Island priest was busted Wednesday for buying crack in the parking lot of a seedy motel — and told cops he started smoking the drug after his sister was violently murdered, authorities said.
The Roman Catholic priest, Robert Lubrano, 63, was arrested just after midnight after cops saw him exchanging money with another man in a car in the parking lot of the Bethpage motel during an apparent drug deal.
“I have been smoking crack cocaine ever since my sister was murdered,” the unassigned priest told police, according to the criminal complaint.
He was caught with 800 milligrams of “a white/yellowish rock-like substance” and a silver metal pipe stained with residue in a brown plastic bag, Nassau cops said. Police also allegedly found cocaine in the coin compartment of Lubrano’s 1998 Toyota. Pat Ward, Lubrano’s 66-year-old sister, was decapitated in her Farmingdale apartment by her mentally ill son in October 2014. Her son, Derek Ward, jumped in front of a LIRR train and killed himself right after the slaying.
“He killed my sister because we couldn’t get the prescriptions he needed. For four days, he didn’t have his meds,” Lubrano told the Daily News at the time. “He was a sick, sick kid. I thought I was in a horror movie. Cut her head off? To do what he did to the woman he loved the most in this world, his mommy? Her whole life, she was there for him. She did the best she could,” he said.
Ward’s other son, Robert Ward, died of a heroin overdose in 1997. She and her husband, John Ward, 63, were divorced, relatives said. Lubrano said the youth was off his medication because the family had a problem getting his prescription filled. Lubrano hinted that the death of his sister would reverberate in his life for a long time to come.
“We’re in terrible shock,” he said. “She was a wonderful person.”
Lubrano was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and released. His next court appearance is Monday. His alleged dealer, Michael Oyola, 32, of the Bronx was also arrested. Nassau cops happened to witness the exchange as they were in the area on an unrelated investigation.
They pulled Oyola over in his 2008 Toyota after he failed to use his turn signal while pulling out of the motel lot at 4107 Hempstead Turnpike. They allegedly caught him with a marijuana cigar and a bag of pot. Police then watched Lubrano as he drove through the parking lot and parked outside Room #20. He almost got to his room. Police stopped him at the door, tracked down Lubrano inside the motel and cuffed him.
By Graham Raymond - NY Daily News/Jan. 6, 2016