A reputed high-ranking member of the DeCavalcante crime family admitted Wednesday to soliciting undercover federal agents to murder a disrespectful associate.
Charles Stango, 72, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark to a charge of using a telephone to solicit the murder.
Stango, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI, was a captain in the Elizabeth-based organized crime outfit, said to be the inspiration for the HBO series, "The Sopranos."
Prosecutors say Stango offered $50,000 to two people he thought were assassins to carry out the the killing.
Those assassins, prosecutors say, were actually undercover FBI agents who ended the investigation to protect the would-be victim.
Court documents state investigators believe the group is currently operating under the Gambino crime family, one of New York's infamous "Five Families."
Stango was one of seven members and associates of the Elizabeth crime family charged in March 2015 following an undercover investigation that court documents say began as early as 2012.
Stango admitted to Judge Walls that while living in Henderson, Nevada, he used a phone to solicit multiple people to kill another associate of the DeCavalcante family he perceived to have been disrespectful.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Stango was angered after he came to believe the associate had falsely represented himself as a "made man" in the family, and insulted a high-ranking family member.
Stango, who was on supervised release from a prior racketeering conviction in New York at the time of the crime, also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of that release.
Walls said Stango faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In exchange for his guilty pleas Wednesday, prosecutors agreed not pursue other charges from the complaint, including those stemming from the sale of more than a pound of cocaine to an undercover investigator.
Stango's sentencing before Walls is scheduled for March 28, 2017.