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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bonanno Family Ruling Panel Member Gets 18 Months For Loan Sharking

A Bonanno crime family "captain" who was born and raised in Jersey City's Marion section was sentenced this morning to 18 months in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to a loansharking offense.
Joseph Sammartino Sr., 56, aka "Sammy''' and "Sammo,'' who now lives in North Arlington, is already more than halfway through his prison term since he has been held without bail since his arrest in October 2009.
U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis, sitting in Brooklyn, was stern with Sammartino, telling him to remain clean after his release.
"I warn the defendant that I take most seriously the provision in the special condition that he is not to communicate or associate with anyone in organized crime and if he does, he will go back to jail," Garaufis said.
Garaufis also fined Sammartino $50,000 and noted that although he has not worked in seven years and his wife makes $60,000, they have a net worth of $1 million.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gina Parlovecchio also noted that authorities found $10,000 in cash in their home.
Federal officials say Sammartino is a member of the Bonanno family's ruling panel and he ran New Jersey for the organization. A source has told The Jersey Journal that Sammartino operated out of Bayonne.
After his 2009 arrest, which coincided with the unsealing of an indictment against him and others, Sammartino was kept in jail because a judge found him to be a danger to the community and ordered him held without bail.
On June 21, Sammartino pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion, admitting he conspired with associates to collect a high-interest loan from a man identified as "Sal from Staten Island."
Officials said he had a minor role in the crime, and Garaufis noted Sammartino had contact with the victim only through others.
White-haired and wearing faded black prison garb, Sammartino expressed remorse.
"I apologize to the court and my family and my friends," he told the court.
More than a score of Sammartino's supports were in attendance.
Sammartino did time in New York for a 1992 attempted assault. His lawyer, Michael Rosen, said Sammartino stopped working in 2003 after being diagnosed with cancer and has undergone 38 rounds of radiation therapy and two surgeries. The lawyer said his client now appears to be cancer-free.
In asking the judge for lenience, Rosen noted Sammartino's medical condition, said he has a good work ethic, only played a minor role in the crime, and has "strong, strong, family support."
Several of the others charged in the indictment unsealed last October have also pleaded guilty. Among the crimes alleged were racketeering, assault in aid of racketeering, threatening to commit a crime of violence in aid of racketeering, bank fraud, illegal gambling, extortion and perjury.


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