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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Queens woman gets 7 years in prison for role in mafia linked cocaine operation

Eleonora Gigliotti (l.) was fully involved in the operation run by her husband Gregorio Gigliotti (r.), according to Brooklyn Federal Judge Raymond Dearie.
A Queens woman got a seven-year prison sentence Thursday for helping run an international cocaine trafficking operation out of the family’s pizzeria.

While the family’s patriarch might have been the ringleader, Brooklyn Federal Judge Raymond Dearie said Eleonora Gigliotti, 56, was fully involved in a crime that was also a “family tragedy, to be sure."

Gigliotti, her husband, Gregorio, and their son, Angelo, were charged in 2015, after authorities nabbed cassava shipments with cocaine stashed inside.

Prosecutors said the operation had links in Italy and Costa Rica, importing at least 120 kilos of cocaine since 2012.

When law enforcement raided the Gigliotti's Corona restaurant, Cucino a Modo Mio, they found a stockpile of weapons, a drug deal ledger and more than $100,000 in cash, authorities said.

When the trio were first detained, prosecutors said the Gigliotti family had "close business ties" to the notorious Calabria-based crime organization the ‘Ndrangheta and pointed to Italian authorities who said Gregorio was hashing out a drug sale with members of the organization.

Law enforcement officials also said Gregorio, 60, and Angelo, 36, were tied to the Genovese crime family.

In April 2016, Dearie said Gigliotti wasn't mentally fit for trial. She was hospitalized for about six months and ended up pleading guilty to a lesser offense this past January.

Eleonora Gigliotti, 56, was sentenced to 7 years for her involvement.

Jurors convicted Gregorio and Angelo in July 2016. Gregorio received an 18-year term last month, while Angelo is awaiting sentence.

Gigliotti said Thursday she was sorry for what she’d done — adding she wanted "to be a good mother and grandmother when I get out."

She waved and blew kisses to family members in the front row when the sentencing was done.

The defense pressed for a five-year term — the lowest sentence possible.

Defense lawyer Nicholas Kaizer said his client married a "dictatorial, patriarchal figure."

Kaizer said he personally witnessed Gregorio's temper and domineering ways. He said Gregorio "exploded at me" when learning his wife was taking a plea deal without consulting him.

Gigliotti's "deep seated psychological problems" left her without self-esteem. If she hadn't married Gregorio, Eleonora wouldn't have been mixed up in such a crime, Kaizer said.

When law enforcement raided the Gigliotti's Corona restaurant, Cucino a Modo Mio, they found a stockpile of weapons, a drug deal ledger and more than $100,000 in cash, authorities said.

What happened was “Shakespearean in tragedy,” he added.

Gigliotti's time in jail and treatment there had already been tough enough, Kaizer argued.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Edelman said Gigliotti played a "crucial role" in the trafficking scheme — like her multiple trips to Costa Rica to hand off cash to coke suppliers.

Dearie said he "acknowledged Gregorio's dominance" and that Eleonora was "somewhat vulnerable."

But evidence showed she was a "serious player" in the operation.

Outside the courtroom, Kaizer said the prison term was "a difficult sentence, no doubt.”

Still, Gigliotti would serve her time and then looked forward to getting back to her family, he said. Family members declined to comment on the sentence.



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