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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Staten Island family who snitched on Bonanno family awaits sentencing



Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarella (above) testified against Bonanno family boss Joe Massino. "The Cantarella family's cooperation was, by any measure, substantial and extraordinary, resulting in the conviction of numerous members of the Bonanno family," Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Busa stated in court papers seeking reduced sentences for the turncoat trio.

The family that snitches together gets sentenced together.

Ex-Bonanno capo Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarella, 69, his wife Lauretta Castelli, 66, and mobster son Paul Cantarella, 42, will all be sentenced together next month in an unprecedented family affair in Brooklyn Federal Court, the Daily News has learned.

This modern Mafia family pleaded guilty to a host of crimes after their arrests more than a decade ago and subsequent decision to help the feds demolish the Bonanno crime family.

"The Cantarella family's cooperation was, by any measure, substantial and extraordinary, resulting in the conviction of numerous members of the Bonanno family," Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Busa stated in court papers seeking reduced sentences for the turncoat trio.

Richard Cantarella is facing life in prison for three mob hits, but is more likely to get a free pass as a reward for testifying against then-Bonanno boss Joseph Massino and his successor, Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano.

Reputed mobster Joe Massino (right) during the trial of Gene Gotti (left), who was on trial with brother John at Brooklyn Federal Court.

Cantarella inducted his son as a wiseguy in 1995 and also involved his wife in laundering proceeds from extortion rackets. She was a "shield used by me" to protect himself from getting arrested, Cantarella admitted in 2007.

Their world was turned upside down Oct. 2, 2002, when the FBI busted the Cantarellas at their Staten Island home. Richard Cantarella, who became a multi-millionaire parking lot mogul after he was fired from a no-show job as a New York Post deliveryman, was facing the most serious charges.

Cantarella had killed men suspected of being rats, including Enrico Mazzeo, a corrupt deputy commissioner of the city Marine and Aviation Department who had awarded no-bid newsstand concessions to the Bonannos at the Staten Island ferry terminals.

He had resisted previous offers from the feds to cooperate, until his wife was arrested on money laundering charges and Paul became unhinged in prison, sources said.

Paul was the first to flip — but the feds needed Richard Cantarella because of his close relationship with Massino and wide knowledge of the crime family's illicit activities.

Paul Cantarella, son of Richard "Shellackhead" Cantarell.

"(Paul) Canterella's cooperation was essential to securing the cooperation of his father Richard," Busa wrote in court papers to Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis.

Castelli's role in the family's decision is described in murkier terms by the prosecutor. She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and agreed to transfer $805,000 in restitution to the family of a deceased extortion victim.

"She did not possess the same wealth of information as her husband and her son, (but) Castelli was willing to assist the government in whatever fashion she could," the prosecutor stated. "Simply put, without Castelli's cooperation the government would not have secured the cooperation of Richard and Paul Cantarella."

Richard and Paul Cantarella ratted out nearly three dozen gangsters from the city's five crime families and the DeCavalcante crime family of New Jersey. Prosecutors credit them with more than two dozen convictions.

Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis could sentence Paul Cantarella to 20 years in prison and his mother up to one year.

Defense lawyer James Kousouris, who cross-examined Cantarella at Basciano's murder trial in 2007, predicted the Cantarella family will never see a day in jail.

"Here again, a trifecta of cooperators will be sent home with the thanks of the government and the court notwithstanding the trail of murder and mayhem they left," Kousouris told The News.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/staten-island-mob-snitch-family-free-month-article-1.1438733#ixzz2dH3eyxwG


0 comments:

Post a Comment