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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Police smash multi-million dollar SI gambling ring

It wasn’t worth the gamble.
A multi-million dollar gambling ring based on Staten Island was smashed today when investigators rounded up nearly 30 people involved with the international operation, authorities said.
Joseph Stentella, 56, the ringleader of the wireroom that was once based out of a Castleton Corners strip mall, was nabbed during a 6 a.m. raid on his Westwood Avenue home, according to a spokesman for DA Daniel Donovan.
Stentella used the illicit proceeds from his gambling operation – which he recently moved to Costa Rica – to purchase the mall on Manor Road for cash, sources said.
Stentella allegedly launched the operation out of the back of Monte’s Video in the Manor Road shopping plaza. The now-defuct video rental store that is slated to re-open as a Pawz and Clawz pet supply shop.
The pet shop was targeted as NYPD and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents descended on the business early this morning and removed records, authorities said. In all, about a dozen locations were hit.
Although the operation's hub had been relocated overseas, Stentella had sheetholders collecting from debtors throughout Staten Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Aside from the mall, Stentella used the money to lavish himself with gifts, sources added.
He was hit with a 72-count indictment that includes felony charges of enterprise corruption, money laundering and promoting gambling.
The takedown of Stentella’s ring came about from a tip, authorities said.
Also participating in the far-reaching investigation was the NJ Attorney General and US Attorney for New York's Eastern District.


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