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

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gambino associate charged with murder for masterminding three home-invasion robberies


A Gambino crime family associate was hit with a murder charge today for masterminding three Queens home-invasion robberies, including one that left an NYPD cop's brother dead.
Francis LaCorte, 29, faces up to 80 years in prison on robbery and murder charges for the botched September 2009 attack that led to the slaying of Gerardo Antoniello.
Also charged with murder and robbery was LaCorte's alleged accomplice, Vincent Mineo, 29.
Antoniello, 29, was fatally shot in the head on Sept. 9, 2009, while coming to the aid of his father, Bartolomeo, who was being pistol-whipped by two men who forced their way into his Ozone Park home.
Queens prosecutors say the Ozone Park men targeted Bartolomeo Antoniello because he regularly brought cash home from Romeo's Pizzeria -- his pizza joint in nearby Howard Beach.
The arrest shocked Angelo Antoniello, the victim's brother, who said he occasionally saw the defendants in the neighborhood but never suspected they might have been involved in the slaying.
"These guys are low-lifes," said Angelo Antoniello, 37, whose surviving brother Carmine is an NYPD cop . "They're always hanging out, doing nothing. They rob their neighbors. We're hardworking people. Our parents taught us to go to work, pay your taxes. Their parents should be ashamed of themselves."
In January, LaCorte was among dozens of Mafia members and associates rounded up in a massive FBI crackdown on the mob. The feds say LaCorte teamed up with other Gambino associates to break into electronics stores across the Northeast and steal $1 million in goods.
Queens prosecutors say he and Mineo provided the two-man robbery team with a loaded gun and duct tape.
"The defendants orchestrated, planned and executed three separate home robberies, one of which culminated in the untimely death of a young man who bravely went to his father's aid during one of the robberies," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
LaCorte, 29, was held without bail after a hearing in Queens Supreme Court today. Mineo, 29, was held in lieu of a $2.5 million bond after his indictment last week.
Bartolomeo Antoniello, who was undergoing chemotherapy when he was attacked, died last year. He was 61. The family pizza place has been sold.
The two men who carried out the attack -- Rashod Cowan, 32, of the Bronx and Jason Burell, 39, of Brooklyn -- were arrested in December 2009 and are awaiting trial.
Prosecutors say one of the two pulled out a gun and shot Antoniello in the head. They fled empty handed.
"My mother spent Mother's Day crying," Angelo Antoniello said. "This has been tough."
In the other two home robberies, victims were robbed of cash at gunpoint.


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