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

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Call him a tan-fella! Mob suspect misses big bust on vacation in sunny Hawaii

The Feds have a message for reputed Gambino associate Kevin Croce, who's on vacation in sunny Hawaii: Wish you were here.
The temperature in Honolulu was 82 degrees Friday, but it's a lot hotter in New York City, where Croce was indicted on drug-trafficking charges in Thursday's massive mob takedown.
Croce, said to be a member of Gambino capo Alphonse Trucchio's crew, wasn't home when the feds came calling, but word that he was a wanted man quickly reached him 5,000 miles away.
Lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman contacted the FBI Friday and assured agents that Croce is cutting short his fun in the sun.
"We've arranged for his self-surrender on Monday morning," Lichtman said. "He strongly maintains his innocence and intends on going to trial."
Croce faces up to life in prison if convicted of the charges filed in Manhattan Federal Court.
Mob associate Robert Berliner, who was on vacation in California when his indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court, flew back Friday morning, sources said.
Meanwhile, new details emerged in the bombshell charge against reputed Colombo capo Reynold (Ren) Maragni, accused of attempting to bribe "a public servant in the State of Florida" to commute a jail sentence.
Maragni claimed that he could get former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to reduce the sentence of a relative of a cooperating witness with the help of a contact he described as a lawyer, according to sources and court papers.

"I don't have any idea what this is about or who this guy [Maragni] is," Crist told the Daily News in a telephone interview.
"The allegations that you've described I've never heard of before," Crist said.
Maragni was secretly taped discussing the scheme with the cooperating witness, who gave the gangster $20,000 in November as the first of three planned payments.
After Maragni said he could not deliver the bribe money to his contact for several weeks, the witness asked for the money back and Maragni agreed, court papers state.
Maragni's lawyer Joseph Benfanti declined to comment.
"It could have been bravado or maybe there's something to it," a law enforcement official said.


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