Trump Plaza drug trafficker’s case lands on Maryanne Trump’s desk

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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The federal case against drug trafficker and mafia associate Joseph Weichselbaum, who currently works for Donald Trump and lives in Trump’s own apartment at Trump Plaza, is mysteriously transferred from Ohio to New Jersey. The new judge is Maryanne Trump Barry — Donald Trump’s sister.

Though the venue change was opposed by federal prosecutors, the case was transferred out of Ohio (years later, the prosecutor who handled the case is still unsure why the matter was removed). But instead of landing in New York or Florida, the Weichselbaum prosecution was sent to the federal court in Newark, New Jersey, where it ended up on the docket of Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, the oldest sibling of Donald Trump.

The Smoking Gun

The case is reassigned to Judge Harold Ackerman three weeks later. To this day, no one knows how or why the case was transferred to Trump’s sister.


In October 1985, the Justice Department indicted Weichselbaum and his associates on 18 counts related to cocaine and marijuana trafficking in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and other states. Less than three months later, Donald Trump rented out his own apartment to Weichselbaum.

It’s unclear when Trump and Weichselbaum’s paths first crossed, but legal documents claim their business relationship began in 1984, five years after the trafficker was convicted for grand theft auto and embezzlement.

Weichselbaum was hired to maintain Trump’s private helicopter a black Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma named Ivana and manage a helicopter service Damin Aviation owned by him and his brother Franklin. They were getting paid more than $2 million a year for ferrying high rollers to and from Trump’s casinos. 


It’s possible that Weichselbaum was the cocaine supplier for Trump’s casinos. Read more about Trump’s relationship to Joseph Weichselbaum here.

External Sources

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Photo: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

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