Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ailing Colombo soldier turned used car salesman sentenced to hail for violating parole

An ailing Brooklyn Colombo family soldier-turned-used-car-salesman was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in prison for violating parole by communicating with other former mobsters.
Brooklyn Federal court judge Kiyo Matsumoto handed down the sentence at the behest of Ilario "Fat Larry" Sessa’s attorney James Froccaro, who noted that the mobster wouldn’t be eligible for time off for good behavior unless he was sentenced to at least one day longer than a year.
In court papers, Froccaro said Sessa was working as a salesman at 4 Guys Motors in Brooklyn when he made contact with his old associates.
Despite now being on the up and up, most people refused to do business with him, Froccaro said. “His old friends were trying to help him make legitimate money and a living in the used car business,” Froccaro wrote.
Sessa, 52, who uses a walker and suffers from a litany of health problems including lupus, morbid obesity, spinal stenosis, diabetes and coronary heart disease, blew his family a kiss in court.
Froccaro had asked that the convicted mobster be sentenced to time served for the parole violation, citing his many hospital stays and extensive pain while awaiting judgement in Metropolitan Detention Center since September.
Sessa needs spinal surgery to relieve excruciating pain and increase his mobility and heart surgery to repair blockage in his aorta that could kill him if untreated.
He violated parole by using six burner phones to communicate with at least two former Colombo family associates between December 2017 and July 2018.
“When someone goes through extraordinary lengths by using six disposable phones there's an obvious attempt to evade the probation departments condition,” Matsumoto said.
Sessa previously served five months for a similar violation.
“It is a concern that there is a seeming lack of understanding or appreciation or respect for the law,” Matsumoto said.
Sessa was initiated by acting boss Andrew "Mush" Russo the night of Jan. 12, 2011 following a sting operation that landed over 100 mobsters behind bars. Sources told the Daily News the secret ceremony took place in the intake room of the Metropolitan Detention Center after the lot had been arraigned.
The wise guy was serving a three-year term of supervised release following an 87-month stint in prison for a 2012 guilty plea to racketeering charges when he violated parole.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Bonanno consigliere claims feds planted turncoat mobster as a spy

A reputed Staten Island mobster claims the feds planted a “spy” to extract defense secrets and strategy for an upcoming Bonanno mob trial.
John "Porky" Zancocchio, 61, an alleged consigliere in the Bonanno crime family, said the government’s new cooperating witness is a long-time client of an attorney who currently represents one of the other alleged Bonanno defendants, according to Manhattan federal court filings.
The unidentified witness and his longtime lawyer, Vincent Martinelli -- who represents Albert “Al Muscles” Armetta --discussed the strategy and strength of the case, as well as confidential information about co-defendants and other cooperators, said the filing.
The mob rat then shared that material with prosecutors, said the court letter. Martinelli represented the turncoat when he pleaded guilty to organized crime charges back in 2008.
“In other words, the government input a ‘spy in the camp’ of the defense and, thereby, violated their Sixth Amendment right to counsel as well as other constitutional rights designed to ensure that they receive a fair trial,” said Zancocchio’s lawyer, John Meringolo.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Swergold refers to the motion as “frivolous” and “filled with factual misstatements.”
The prosecutor said the allegations that his office tried to infiltrate the defendant’s camp “could not be further from the truth."
The is the borough wiseguy’s second attempt at getting the racketeering case dismissed. Last week, Zancocchio alleged the feds provided testimony "cheat sheet’' to a mob snitch from Tottenville for next month’s trial. The defense claims Swergold handed over pertinent wiretap calls and texts to Staten Island reputed mobster Peter "Pug" Lovaglio, the government’s other cooperating witness.
Zancocchio is one of several alleged Bonanno members, including Joseph "Joe C" Cammarano Jr., charged with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion, authorities said.
Last year, a federal judge released Zancocchio from the Metropolitan Correctional Center and placed him on home detention to seek medical attention. He had been out on bail, but his bond was revoked when he was caught breaking bread at borough eateries.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Rhode Island captain released from prison after 7 years

RI Mafia captain Edward 'Eddie' Lato released from prison
After serving more than seven years behind bars for his role in a conspiracy case, New England Mafia capo Edward "Eddie" Lato is now out of prison.

Lato, 71, was released Wednesday from Fort Dix federal prison in New Jersey, and was brought to a halfway house in Pawtucket, the Target 12 Investigators have learned.

The longtime high-ranking member of the mob was given the stiffest sentence in a sweeping 2011 crackdown on organized crime. The bust scooped up nine members or associates of the New England mob including former boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, former acting boss Anthony DiNunzio of East Boston, and others. Lato was sentenced to nine years after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy for taking part in a scheme to shake down strip clubs for protection money.

Lato's sentence was set to expire in July of this year, but Lato was eligible for release to home confinement or a halfway house on Jan. 25, according to information Target 12 obtained from the Federal Bureau of Prisons under a Freedom of Information Act request. Prison regulations require that Lato must find employment in order to qualify for a stay at a halfway house.

Lato's attorney, Mark Smith, said he had "no knowledge" of Lato's situation.

While serving his federal sentence, Lato made a brief appearance in a Rhode Island courtroom in 2014 to put a state case to bed. Lato along with mobsters Frank "Bobo" Marrapese, Alfred "Chippy" Scivola and nearly two dozen others were arrested in a state police sting into illegal sports betting. Prosecutors said the ring was run by Vincent "Tootsie" Tallo.

Lato pleaded guilty to his role in the operation in November 2014 and was given a 10-year suspended sentence and 10 years of probation. Lato will also be on three years of probation on the federal case.

In the federal case that handed Lato his longest ever prison sentence, former mob capo regime Robert "Bobby" DeLuca wore a wire for the FBI against his fellow mobster in the 2011 case. For his cooperation, DeLuca served one day in prison for his role in the extortion scheme.

DeLuca and his brother, Joseph DeLuca, were star witnesses in last year's trial in Boston of former mob boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, who was found guilty of taking part in the 1993 murder of Boston nightclub owner — and Providence native — Steven DiSarro.

In a letter written to the judge in the Boston case, DeLuca denounced the mob and said he had found religion before getting arrested for lying to federal investigators in the DiSarro case. He is now serving 5½ years after pleading guilty in that case.

DeLuca has also pleaded guilty for taking part in the murder of mob hitman Kevin Hanrahan on Federal Hill in 1992. DeLuca said he took part in the planning of the hit, but the actual triggerman has never been caught.

Lato has been identified as a suspect in the Hanrahan murder, but has not been charged.


Feds bust Philadelphia mobster for extortion

Federal authorities have charged a reputed Philadelphia mobster with extorting and threatening a man who took out a loan from him.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 56-year-old Philip Narducci and his associate James Gallo face charges related to extortion and conspiracy.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Gallo is accused of threatening the loan recipient after he failed to make weekly interest payments.
Prosecutors say the loan was funded by Narducci, who they say belongs to Philadelphia’s La Cosa Nostra.
Narducci is no stranger to serious allegations. A former member of Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo’s crew, he spent decades in federal prison after he was convicted in 1988 on racketeering charges. He also was convicted of participating in the 1985 gangland hit on bookmaker Frank “Frankie Flowers” D’Alfonso, but was later acquitted in that case.
No attorney information is available.


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Staten Island businessman is found not guilty and denies being Genovese soldier

A Staten Island businessman says he had his world turned upside down after he was accused of being a Genovese mobster who rigged construction deals.
“The smearing of my name — it destroyed my family and clients stayed away,” said Chris Chierchio, 50, of Annadale, in an interview with the Advance.
“I’m 100 percent innocent,” said the father of three. “I just needed God on my side.”
Chierchio, who owns Rci Plbg, Inc. in Midland Beach, was acquitted Tuesday of bid-rigging after a week-long bench trial in Manhattan state Supreme Court.
The Islander pounded the table and kissed his lawyer, Gerald McMahon, after Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus found him not guilty in the alleged construction scheme.
Chierchio and his co-defendant, Long Island resident Anthony Milohnic, were accused of colluding to fix construction bids for a luxury apartment building in Brooklyn, authorities said. Milohnic was also acquitted.
“There was a roar in the courtroom -- I had 25 friends in the room,” Chierchio said.
“Justice triumphed,” McMahon said. “It was a very nice win.”
Last year, the defendants were charged with felony agreement, arrangement, or combination in restraint of trade or competition. Authorities allege the defendants schemed to ensure there was a lack of competition for the plumbing, sprinkler and HVAC bids for a new luxury residential building at 613 Baltic St. in Brooklyn.
The investigation included information from court-authorized wiretaps, the execution of search warrants and the review of financial records.
The South Shore resident said he first heard of the probe after dozens of officers and FBI agents approached him near a church in 2016. They told him he was being investigated for bid-rigging and asked him to cooperate in the case. He was arrested last March.
“I was in deep shock,” he said.
In the press release announcing his arrest, authorities alleged Chierchio was a “reputed soldier” in the Genovese organized crime family. The accusation stemmed from a previous investigation, “Operation Shark Bait,” which led to more than a dozen arrests for enterprise corruption in Brooklyn, authorities said.
“It’s complete nonsense,” he said about his alleged mob ties, adding he did plead guilty to bribing a labor official in 2004 and served 18 months in state prison.
Chierchio said he had hooked up a friend and a client for the Brooklyn project, and the $1.8 million plumbing and sprinkler job was already his. He also invested millions into the project, he said.
“We didn’t bid rig,” he said. “The owner testified that it was my job to lose.”
During the trial, McMahon said the state only played seven wiretap calls, and his client was heard for about four minutes on the recordings.
“The case was always thin," said the lawyer.
Chierchio was also charged with criminal tax fraud for allegedly evading $94,094 in personal income tax, officials said. That case is still pending, he said.
The Attorney General’s office did not respond to a request for comment.


Real estate developer and Montreal mobster is shot dead

A real estate developer known for his ties to the Montreal Mafia was shot dead Thursday morning.
Tony Magi, who survived a brazen rush-hour murder attempt in 2008, was the victim of Montreal’s first homicide, a well-placed source confirmed to The Canadian Press.
Tony Magi on Sept. 22, 2010. Magi was known to police and survived an assassination attempt in 2008.
Tony Magi on Sept. 22, 2010. Magi was known to police and survived an assassination attempt in 2008.
Police said they received a call at about 11:15 a.m. that an unconscious man was lying on the ground at the entry to a garage in west-end Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood.
Officers who arrived on the scene found the man suffering from at least one gunshot wound to his upper body. Witnesses reported hearing several gunshots.
Police say the victim, a man in his 50s, died in hospital. No arrests have been made.
Magi was well-known to police. In 2008, he was wounded but survived when his Range Rover was riddled with bullets as he drove to work. He was also kidnapped in 2005. Both of those crimes are unsolved. His wife’s vehicle was shot at while she was driving near the family home in 2011. She was unharmed.
In December 2009, Magi confirmed to the Montreal Gazette that he was in business with Nick Rizzuto Jr., the son of Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto. Later that month, the younger Rizzuto was shot dead outside the offices of Magi’s construction company.
Magi’s name also came up during Quebec’s public inquiry into corruption in the province’s construction industry. Wiretaps played at the inquiry captured Magi discussing a real estate development with Vito Rizzuto in 2004.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Bonanno consigliere argues turncoat captain is too tight with the feds

A reputed Bonanno consigliere argued in new papers Monday that a Staten Island snitch expected to testify against him at trial is too tight with federal prosecutors.
John "Porky" Zanococchio, who is accused of bookmaking and loan sharking, charged that Manhattan Federal prosecutors had improperly handed over evidence to mob rat Peter "Pug" Lovaglio.
John Meringolo, an attorney for Zanococchio, wrote that a prosecutor gave Lovaglio all recordings of phone calls and texts with his NYPD handler. Meringolo called the move an “abomination” that amounted to prosecutorial misconduct because he planned to use the communications to attack Lovaglio’s credibility. The communications, Meringolo said, were under a protective order.
Lovaglio is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for a 2015 slashing in a Staten Island sushi joint that left a rival with a severely damaged eye. Despite his criminal record, authorities have continued to depend on Lovaglio as a cooperator, Meringolo wrote.
John (Porky) Zanococchio, pictured in this undated photo, thinks Manhattan Federal prosecutors had improperly handed over evidence to mob rat Peter (Pug) Lovaglio.
John "Porky: Zanococchio, pictured in this undated photo, thinks Manhattan Federal prosecutors had improperly handed over evidence to mob rat Peter "Pug" Lovaglio.
“It is beyond defense counsel’s comprehension as to why he flagrantly handed materials to (Lovaglio) that are so critical to the defense and the impeachment of this witness at trial,” Meringolo wrote.
In one recorded phone call from state prison, Lovaglio said prosecutors were “trying to get my sentence vacated,” according to papers. In another Lovaglio tells a federal agent he wouldn’t supply information unless he got money in return.
“Without the money don’t bother,” Lovaglio told the agent, according to papers.
In yet another, Lovaglio allegedly boasted “They’re trying to get my sentence vacated. So we’re working on it.”
The snitch’s relationship with his NYPD handler eventually fell apart. Filings indicate the communications were turned over to Lovaglio through a civil lawsuit he filed last year against the handler.
A spokesman for Manhattan Federal prosecutors declined to comment.
Lovaglio took the stand in the trial of reputed Philly mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, who was sentenced to two years in prison.
Zanococchio is best known for taking bets from baseball's banned all-time hits leader Pete Rose. He says the charges against him should be dismissed due to the feds’ cozy relationship with the cooperator. His trial is scheduled to start next month.
A call to an attorney for Lovaglio was not returned.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Bloods gang members facing death sentence for murder of Bonanno associate

A reputed Bronx mobster gunned down at a McDonald’s drive-thru was targeted for death by killers using a hidden GPS device.
Federal prosecutors revealed Friday that Sylvester "Sally Daz" Zottola, a longtime associate of the Bonanno organized crime family, was murdered five days after the plotters surreptitiously placed the tracking device under his car.
Zottola, 71, was fatally shot five times as he waited for a cup of coffee behind the wheel on Oct. 4, 2018. Five suspects accused in his death could face the death penalty in the mob execution.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Gerdes said after detectives discovered the device beneath the dead Mafioso’s car, they reviewed closed-circuit television footage close to where the device was first activated.
“Sure enough, you see some of the defendants handling the tracking device,” said prosecutor Gerdes — adding the GPS tracker was first activated on Sept. 29, 2018.
Sylvester Zottola is pictured in an undated photo.
Sylvester Zottola is pictured in an undated photo.
Telephone records confirmed Bushawn "Shelz" Shelton, Herman "Taliban" Blanco, Arthur Codner, Himen Ross and Kalik McFarlane plotted to kill Zottola and his son Salvatore, as did evidence showing Shelton’s car parked near the victim’s residence on 20 different occasions in the months prior to his killing, court papers allege.
At their joint court appearance in Brooklyn federal court on Friday, the defendants sat in shackles while prosecutors rolled out the damning new revelations.
Defense attorneys for the accused men asked U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie to lift an order requested previously by prosecutors to prevent the co-defendants from discussing the case with one another. Dearie asked the government to reconsider its position, but Gerdes indicated that prosecutors had a reason for their request.
“These defendants have all communicated with one another in furtherance of a plot to kill two people,” charged Gerdes. “One of those people is dead.”
Zottola’s son Salvatore, 41, had survived a July 11 murder attempt outside his waterfront home in the Bronx — a hit ordered in an effort to “lure out” the father, according to a federal criminal complaint. Two of the suspects drove to his house to lie in wait, but Salvatore never appeared that day, the complaint said.
His father similarly escaped death in multiple threatening incidents over the last year, including a December 2017 attack inside his Bronx apartment where three masked invaders stabbed Sylvester Zottola repeatedly in the neck and chest.