Strip Club Manager Allegedly Drugged Customers To Film, Rob Them

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Mariane Angela Contributor
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A strip club manager was arrested April 9 for allegedly drugging customers to film and rob them, the Times Union reported.

Following his arrest, a federal judge ruled Thursday that Luiggi Canessa, 46, the manager of Shenanigans strip club and an adjacent lingerie business in Colonie, will remain in custody until his trial. The decision came three days after a federal prosecutor disclosed allegations at Canessa’s detention hearing in U.S. District Court. The prosecutor claimed that under Canessa’s direction, the club drugged customers, defrauded them, and recorded them engaging in sexual activities with dancers, according to the Times Union.

Presiding over the detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Christian Hummel agreed with the prosecution that Canessa posed a flight risk and is a threat to the community. Hummel concluded that no release conditions could ensure Canessa’s court appearance or public safety, leading to his detention in Albany County jail, the outlet stated.

Canessa’s attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Jeremy Sporn, sought to minimize the allegations, suggesting that similar activities might occur in other strip clubs, the Times Union reported. In a court filing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Reiner provided additional reasons to detain Canessa. Reiner pointed out Canessa’s alleged underreporting of income to federal probation officers.

“If Canessa cannot be open about something as seemingly innocuous as his income, it calls into question whether he would follow the court’s directives to disclose contact with law enforcement, avoid witnesses, comply with home detention or incarceration,” the prosecutor stated, the Times Union stated. (RELATED: REPORT: Patrons Sue Arizona Strip Clubs For Alleged Drugging And Credit Card Fraud)

Reiner also revealed that upon Canessa’s arrest, authorities allegedly seized four guns and $41,000 cash from his residence, along with cocaine and 1,000 ecstasy pills, the Times Union reported. Reiner also alleged that Canessa orchestrated the targeting of wealthy club patrons, drugging them and illicitly charging their credit cards, sometimes exceeding $10,000.

Canessa, a former resident of upper Manhattan with a master’s degree in business administration, faces charges of selling more than 5 grams of pure methamphetamine to an informant. Canessa admitted to selling various drugs from his home, according to the Times Union. If convicted, Canessa could be sentenced to 5 to 40 years in federal prison for knowingly distributing methamphetamine. Defense counsel downplayed concerns about witness intimidation, attributing them to personal conflicts.