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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Shacks faces additional indictment

Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio’s brother told the court Tuesday he had no idea what his older sibling did for work, although they are extremely close.
“He’s retired, I think,” Dr. Anthony Manocchio, a Johnston obstetrician, said.
From what profession? asked Scott R. Lawson, a Department of Justice prosecutor who specializes in organized crime.

“I think he was a salesman,” Dr. Manocchio said. “I don’t really know.”
Dr. Manocchio appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. Martin Tuesday to pledge his Glocester home in a bid to get his brother freed from prison as he awaits trial for extortion.
But before the hearing on whether Manocchio would be freed could even begin, the government presented the court with a fresh grand jury indictment, this time accusing Manocchio of racketeering on behalf of the New England La Cosa Nostra. The government alleges that, since 1989, Manocchio and his associates extorted monthly protection payments of $4,000 to $6,000 from city strip clubs and adult entertainment establishments through threats of force and violence.
The racketeering allegation added to the extortion and conspiracy to extort charges Manocchio has faced since he and 127 other reputed organized-crime figures were charged in a federal sweep in January.
Manocchio, who wore prison khakis and sat with his arms crossed through much of the proceeding, pleaded innocent through his lawyer Mary June Ciresi. He took a long sip of water and slowly examined everyone in the courtroom as U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and U.S. Marshal Steven G. O’Donnell looked on.
The government is arguing that the purported mobster represents a danger to the community and a flight risk and should not be released. Though the government voiced its objections at the hearing’s start last week, prosecutors bolstered their arguments in a court filing Tuesday.
Prosecutors described Manocchio as a longtime boss of the Patriarca family who lied to officials in Florida by saying he had not left the country since 2001. Manocchio, they wrote, had traveled to Italy in July 2009 with Barrington businessman Joseph S. Ruggiero Sr., a member of the New England mob. An FBI source told investigators the purpose of the trip was to buy property, authorities said.
Lawson wrote that Manocchio, too, had flown into the United States from Canada in 2006 and the Bahamas in 2007 aboard developer Frank Zammiello’s private plane.
In addition, Lawson cited the lack of “financial footprint” the aging Manocchio had left throughout his life, with no known bank accounts, assets or credit cards. Manocchio has told court officials he has only $900 in cash.
Ciresi did not respond to the government’s allegations. Instead, she put Manocchio’s brother and nephew on the stand to testify to their willingness to put up their homes to ensure that Manocchio returns for future court dates.
Dr. Manocchio said he did not fear his brother would flee as he did when he faced a double murder charge for the slaying of two renegade bookmakers in 1968. “I feel my brother is responsible to me and will always be responsible to me,” said Dr. Manocchio, who Manocchio greeted with a wave.
“Louie is at an age where he couldn’t run even if he wanted to,” Dr. Manocchio said. Lawson questioned if he had contact with his brother during the decade his brother eluded authorities on the murder charges. Dr. Manocchio said no, though he typically sees him three or four times a week. (Luigi Manocchio eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the deaths after a key witness was found to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. He was given credit for the two years he served and was released.)
Did it strike Dr. Manocchio odd that his brother used a cell phone in the name of William Smith? Lawson asked. “No,” he said.
Manocchio’s nephew Louis J. Manocchio, a self-employed carpenter, said he would be willing to pledge his two homes in Cranston and another in West Warwick. Louis Manocchio told the court he didn’t know what his uncle did for work and never asked. Louis said he occasionally leant him his credit card and, again, he didn’t ask why.
Did he know his credit card was found on Manocchio when he was arrested in January? Lawson asked. Louis said no.
Ciresi asked Magistrate Martin for direction on how much Manocchio would have to post to win his release. She said she had a $1-million home in Narragansett that could serve as surety, as well as property owned by other people who are on vacation. Martin did not give a number, but even as much as $3 million has been insufficient in other organized-crime cases. The hearing will continue Wednesday.
Tuesday’s indictment accused Thomas Iafrate and Theodore Cardillo, managers of the Cadillac Lounge strip club, and bouncer Richard Bonafiglia of racketeering. In addition, all three men are charged with conspiring to extort Providence strip clubs. Iafrate, who was indicted with Manocchio in January, is also charged with extortion.
Bonafiglia, who has a lengthy criminal history that includes drug and forgery charges, remains held without bail. Martin released Cardillo, but ordered him not to have contact with adult-entertainment venues or people associated with them.
Additionally, he is not to have contact with Manocchio and other reputed longtime mobsters Edward Lato, Edward Melise, Robert DeLuca, Anthony St. Laurent, Peter Limone and Anthony DiNunzio as well as Iafrate and Bonafiglia.



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