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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Waterfront Commission Is Back In Action

Waterfront Commission Police patch
The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor "for the first time since the 1970s took a long look at the influence of organized crime on the docks" as reported by Steve Strunsky for The Star-Ledger:  "commission officials say the series of hearing -- which gathered testimony and other evidence of corruption to be presented in a report next year -- were meant to send a message to local leaders of the longshoremen's union and the shipping companies that employ its 6,000 local members that the agency plans to again police the docks aggressively."
The hearings commenced last October, and at the first one officials played a purported recording of a 2007 telephone conversation between longshoreman Edward Aulisi from Local 1235 of the International Longshoremen's Association and reputed Genovese capo Michael "Mikey Cigars" Coppola as reported by Richard Perez-Pena for The New York Times:
The two men spoke using code, translated by Joseph Longo, another commission detective: "Christmases" meant kickback payments, for example, and "shingle" meant lawyer. On the recording, the man said to be Mr. Aulisi updated the other man on news — a subpoena served to a Genovese associate, a loan shark customer falling short on a payment — and mentioned that the "Christmases" had doubled in a few years.
Aulisi, whose father Vincent was a former President of Local 1235, repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions at the hearing.  In July 2009 Coppola was convicted for decades-long extortion against the local.
Last week the feds indicted Albert Cernadas Sr., a former vice president of the International Longshoremen's Association and president of ILA Local 1235 in Newark, NJ, for allegedly "shaking down his members under threats of violence, in what was described as a long-running racketeering operation tied to the Genovese organized crime family" as reported by Ted Sherman for The Star-Ledger:  "The charges come nearly five years after Cernadas, 75, of Union Township, was removed from the ILA after pleading guilty to corruption charges involving thousands of dollars in union funds being funneled into a pharmaceutical company controlled by organized crime."  Cernadas "was sentenced to only two years probation" in that case after U.S. District Judge Leo Glasser received from the NJ political establishment "292 letters asking for leniency" as reported by Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure in their book The Soprano State:  New Jersey's Culture of Corruption.
The feds earlier this month busted Robert Ruiz, a delegate for Local 1235 of the International Longshoremen's Association, on extortion charges after he allegedly solicited cash donations from union members intended as tribute payments to the Genovese boys.


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