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

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trial canceled by prosecutors; Thompson faces charges in Boston

The third Little Rock trial of an alleged Cabot mobster has been called off after federal prosecutors dismissed the charges.

Bookmaker George Wylie Thompson, who prosecutors contend has extensive ties to the Colombo crime family, was set to stand trial in Little Rock on Tuesday, but that didn’t happen after the single charge remaining against him was dismissed.

Earlier charges also had been dismissed after Thompson’s co-defendant, former North Little Rock alderman Cary Gaines, took a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to a single felony in December.

Gaines and Thompson had been accused of conspiring to rig bids for North Little Rock public works projects, but none of those plans ever came to fruition.

Another trial for later this year is still on schedule for Thompson in Boston, along with alleged Colombo street boss Ralph Francis Deleo and his associates Franklin M. Goldman and Edmond Kulesza. They are known collectively as the “Deleo Crew” and operated from here to Florida and north into Canada.
The Somerville Journal reported the three men in Massachusetts would meet at different Dunkin’ Donuts shops as they discussed their plans. What they didn’t know was that they were under surveillance at the time and had FBI agents sitting beside them, listening in on their conversations.

Deleo and Thompson had been convicted in Little Rock last year for conspiring to commit drug trafficking, among other charges, in a scheme to buy and transport a little more than four pounds of cocaine from Los Angeles to Boston through Little Rock.

Thompson also was convicted, along with then-North Little Rock Alderman Sam Baggett of conspiring to dispose of firearms, among other charges, to a felon — that felon being Thompson, who had at least two earlier felony convictions in Arkansas for drug trafficking and bookmaking.

Baggett resigned his seat and a special election has been called for March 8 to fill it.
Thompson’s properties in Cabot and rural northern Pulaski County were searched in 2009 and federal agents seized 147 firearms, along with more than 88,000 rounds of ammunition.

The Boston indictment of Thompson hinges on his ability to buy a seemingly unlimited supply of guns and ammunition in Arkansas, the federal prosecutors in Boston said in the first indictment, but it was more than that.

“Thompson engaged in illegal narcotics transactions with Deleo to further the interests of the Deleo Crew,” assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Moran and Peter Levitt wrote in the filing. Other illegal activities included “supplying Deleo with firearms and ammunition to further the interests of the Deleo Crew.

Federal agents found 11 guns, 923 rounds of ammunition, a silencer and numerous magazines for the handguns hidden in a storage facility in Watertown, Mass., along with police patches and disguises.

North Little Rock’s Tony Milner, who worked in Thompson’s bookmaking operation, said in court testimony last year that a firearm he had purchased for his boss was “the gun they found in Boston.”

Federal agents here said that about half of the firearms and ammunition cache seized in Massachusetts could be traced back to Arkansas and Thompson.

Everything gathered, federal prosecutors said, was to “support the criminal activities of the enterprise” and that included alleged trips to Canada to purchase and transport more than 250 pounds of marijuana, along with cocaine from California.

Also violence and threats of violence were employed by the Deleo Crew with Kulesza being identified as the primary “muscle” for the operation.

Thompson’s legal troubles in Arkansas are still ongoing, despite the trial being canceled.

A forfeiture hearing on the guns and money seized from Thompson’s properties has been scheduled in Little Rock at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16 in front of U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson.



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