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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Colombo Family Street Boss Convicted In Arkansas

As the FBI listened in, Somerville mob boss Ralph DeLeo attempted to give a Vietnamese drug courier in Arkansas driving directions to the Cambridge Doubletree Hotel, but the courier became frustrated midway through and passed the phone to DeLeo’s business partner.
A few nights later, on a Friday in December 2008, DeLeo received a more anxious call from his partner, George Thompson. The drug mule had been pulled over and arrested a little east of Little Rock just after setting out. At that time, neither man was sure whether police had found the 2.2 kilograms of cocaine in the car, or that the ensuing investigation would bring down both of them and two other members of the “DeLeo Crew.”
In one of that night’s conversations, described in an FBI agent’s affidavit, Thompson ended the call with, “Have a good evening,” to which DeLeo responded, “How am I going to have a [expletive] good evening?”
According to the FBI, DeLeo, 67, was a “street boss” for the Colombo crime family, one of the five Mafia families. Last Thursday, Oct. 21, DeLeo was convicted in Arkansas of conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver a Class D drug; use of a communication device in a Class E drug crime; and possession with intent to deliver a Class D drug, according to U.S. Attorney spokesman Cherith Beck. DeLeo faces additional charges in Boston, where his henchmen are being tried.
A bank robber and diamond thief, DeLeo pleaded guilty in 1979 to gunning down an abortion doctor in Ohio, though the police botched the investigation, according to press reports. Then, in 1991, DeLeo’s sentence was commuted by Richard Celeste, the outgoing Ohio governor, in a wave of commutations that the Ohio Supreme Court said was an “abuse of pardoning power.”
A Fall River native, DeLeo conducted some of his business from his house on Russell Street, in between Davis and Porter squares. His alleged enforcer and sometimes driver, 275-pound Somerville native Edmond Kulesza, 57, lived just off Lower Broadway, where he allegedly had a side racket dealing prescription painkillers. The other crew member snared in a 2009 bust was Franklin Goldman, a Randolph man who had done prison time for dealing cocaine and had helped DeLeo collect a debt since getting out. Goldman was also supplying a woman with Kulesza’s painkillers. Goldman and the addict would talk on the phone in code, referring to the drugs as “shirts” or “salads.”
The crew would discuss business at Vinny’s Superette, around the corner from Kulesza’s home, and at various Dunkin’ Donuts in the area — where in many cases, FBI agents would get close enough to listen in on the conversations. DeLeo also reportedly had a cache of 11 guns plus ammunition stashed in Watertown, and police badges as well.
According to the North Little Rock Times, Thompson’s operation in Arkansas involved Little Rock aldermen, a gambling ring and gun running, in addition to the cocaine trafficking. The Times reported that the Vietnamese driver, Tri Cam Le, received a 14-year jail sentence.
Despite warning his associates that he was under investigation, DeLeo continued to try to work out drug deals, traveling to Montreal to try to secure a large marijuana delivery from Canada. Meanwhile, Thompson fled to a casino resort in China, and then as his visa was set to expire, to Bangkok, Thailand.
The DeLeo Crew arranged for an unidentified Outlaws motorcycle gang member to travel to China with Thompson’s prescriptions for blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. The slips of paper, as well as Thompson’s phone number, were identified by airport security and the next day, Nov. 3, 2009, Thompson was arrested by Thai police.
Meanwhile, another segment of the gang’s illegal activities was unraveling closer to home.
In addition to his duties as “Big Ed” the enforcer, Kulesza allegedly filled prescriptions for Roxicet and Diazepam at the Winter Hill Rite Aid, which he would sometimes sell. Goldman was shuttling the drugs from Kulesza to an unnamed female addict. At one point, the two took a trip to the Revere office of Leonard Friedman, a psychiatrist whose license has since been revoked. Friedman, whose license was suspended in 2003 for writing improper prescriptions, has since been arrested and charged with selling prescriptions. A Somerville man, Victor Hernandez, was also arrested in September for allegedly performing illegal liposuctions out of the Revere office.
On a Friday afternoon, a few days after Thompson’s arrest, agents saw the female drug addict buy pills off another man, driving a car with Florida plates, and afterwards stopped and questioned her. The first person she called was Goldman. Ten days later, DeLeo and his two henchmen were arrested in a 6 a.m. sweep.



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