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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fugitive Frank Cetta of Lucchese crime family bagged for running offshore 'wire room'

A fugitive who allegedly ran a Costa Rican “wire room” where the Lucchese crime family processed billions of dollars in illegal wagers on sporting events has been taken into custody by the state Division of Criminal Justice.
The U.S. Marshals Service returned Frank Cetta, 73, of Las Vegas to New Jersey from Costa Rica and he had a first appearance in court Morristown Wednesday morning.
The State Police Fugitive Unit initially developed information about Cetta’s location, which the Division of Criminal Justice referred to the marshals. Cetta was arrested by authorities in Costa Rica on Dec. 5.
Cetta made his first court appearance before state Superior Court Judge Philip J. Maenza. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades, chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, is prosecuting the case. Maenza set bail for Cetta at $350,000 with full bail required. He is being held in the Morris County Jail.
The judge ordered that if Cetta posts bail, he must surrender his U.S. passport, submit to a bail source hearing, and execute a waiver of extradition. Cetta is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 3 before Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morristown.
Cetta was named in a May 14, 2010 state grand jury indictment obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice that charged two ruling members of the Lucchese crime family in New York, Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna, as well as 32 other alleged members and associates of the crime family. All of them were indicted on first-degree charges of racketeering, conspiracy and money laundering. The indictment stemmed from Operation Heat, an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
“Organized crime cannot evade our determined efforts, not even by hiding in Central America,” state Attorney General Dow said. “Frank Cetta is charged with crimes that reached from Costa Rica to New Jersey. We’ve demonstrated that the reach of justice is equally long. We are grateful to the U.S. Marshals Service for their efforts in apprehending this fugitive.”
“Frank Cetta allegedly was responsible for minding the store in Costa Rica for the Lucchese crime family, making sure things ran smoothly at the offshore hub of their multi-billion dollar gambling operation,” Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor said. “With the aid of the U.S. Marshals Service and Costa Rican authorities, we have brought him to New Jersey to face prosecution.”
Cetta allegedly supervised a wire room in San Jose, Costa Rica, where up to 20 people worked at a time, taking bets by phone and processing online wagers for the Lucchese crime family’s gambling operation. In May 2010, the Division of Criminal Justice arrested and charged another fugitive in the case, Brian Ronald Cohen, 63, of Buffalo, who allegedly ran the gambling operation’s website and the technical aspects of the Costa Rican wire room.



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