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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Colombo Boss Ralph DeLeo handpicked by predecessor to lead Family

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that Ralph F. Deleo, a reputed "street boss" of the Colombo crime family, has been indicted in Boston, MA with Franklin M. Goldman, Edmond Kulesza, and George Wylie Thompson on federal racketeering charges:

The Indictment alleges that Deleo, who was the "street boss" of the Colombo Family of La Cosa Nostra (LCN), directed and controlled the operations of the Deleo Crew, which included but was not limited to Deleo, Goldman, Kulesza and Thompson. According to the indictment, members and associates of the Deleo Crew engaged in the importation, trafficking and distribution of narcotics and controlled substances, including cocaine and marijuana; extortion; loan sharking; and interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering. It is alleged that the Deleo Crew operated principally in the areas of Massachusetts, Arkansas, Rhode Island, New York and Florida.

Martin Finucane and Shelley Murphy report for The Boston Globe: "'What we're seeing here is the Colombo family has grabbed a foothold in this area,' Warren Bamford, the special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, said at a news conference at the US Attorney's office."

UPDATE: John Marzulli from the Daily News reports:

Law enforcement sources told the Daily News DeLeo has no ties to New York City, but met Colombo chieftain Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico in prison in the 1990s and apparently made a strong impression. After DeLeo was sprung from jail around 1997, he was inducted into the crime family. He got the top job in mid-2008 after acting boss Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli was arrested on multiple murder charges, sources said. DeLeo "was handpicked by Allie," said a source, adding the family figured the New England wiseguy would not be on the New York feds' radar.

DeLeo has a history as reported by Shelley Murphy for The Boston Globe:

DeLeo was serving a 25- to 40-year sentence in the state prison at Walpole for kidnapping and armed robbery when he escaped in 1977 while being treated at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. While living as a fugitive in Ohio, he was captured in a bank robbery case and struck a deal with prosecutors. He confessed that he was the triggerman who fatally shot a Columbus doctor, Walter Bond, on Oct. 31, 1977, at the behest of another doctor. He later testified against the other doctor. DeLeo was sentenced to 15 years to life for the slaying, but in 1991, Governor Richard F. Celeste of Ohio, on his way out of office, granted DeLeo clemency for his Ohio crimes. Returned to Massachusetts, DeLeo then finished his earlier sentence and was released in 1997.

Thompson also is facing charges in Arkansas pursuant to an earlier indictment as reported by Roger Susanin for KATV:

A couple of years ago, the U.S. Attorney's Office began looking into alleged illegal activities involving Thompson. That investigation led to two indictments against him and the seizure of close to 150 illegal guns, 80,000 rounds of ammunition and five illegal silencers. * * * Thompson is also implicated in criminal activity involving two North Little Rock politicians. Former Alderman Cary Gaines resigned shortly after he was charged with conspiring with Thompson to rig bids on city projects, and current Alderman Sam Baggett is charged with providing guns to Thompson, a convicted felon. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, and neither man was named in Thursday's indictments against Thompson.


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