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

Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Staten Islanders accused after raids on Bonanno mob family

English: Joe Massino spotted leaving his docto...The boss was busted.
And so were several other alleged Staten Island mobsters today with high-ranking positions or ties to the Bonanno crime family, for racketeering, extortion and other charges, authorities say.
The allegations include the shakedown of a Dongan Hills pizza store owner over a recipe used at a famous Brooklyn pizzeria. In some instances, the purported crimes date back more than a decade.
Vincent Badalamenti, 53, the acting Bonanno boss also known as "Vinny TV," was arrested at his lush Bertram Avenue home in Annadale.
Also nabbed by federal Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI agents were Staten Islanders Vito Balsamo, 55; Anthony Calabrese, 44, and James LaForte, 35. Their communities were not immediately available.
In addition, authorities busted Long Islander Nicholas "Nicky Mouth" Santora, 69, and charged reputed Bonanno consigliere Anthony "TG" Graziano, 71, of Huguenot. Graziano, who’s currently incarcerated on related extortion charges, is the father of "Mob Wives" reality-TV star Renee Graziano.
Court documents said Santora is a Bonanno captain, Balsamo is an acting captain and Calabrese is a solider within the family. LaForte, who recently served time for his role in a Nassau County real-estate scam, is a Gambino crime family associate, allege prosecutors.
Prosecutors said the wise guys used violence and intimidation to extort cash from victims.
In one instance, Graziano directed a cooperating witness to see a loanshark victim and to "break his balls" and "open him up," said court papers. In another, the witness told Graziano that a second man from whom he was trying to collect a debt "was crying hysterical," court documents said.
Some of the alleged crimes occurred while Graziano and LaForte were living in federal halfway houses shortly after their release from prison. Santora allegedly broke the law in some cases while on supervised release after serving a stint behind bars, said court papers.
"Members of organized crime continue to exploit their victims the old-fashioned way — through violence, threats and intimidation," said Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, whose office is prosecuting the case. "Learning nothing from their incarceration, two of the defendants allegedly sought to regain their money and influence on the street while still under federal supervision. But, because they learned nothing, they find themselves back in custody again, along with their co-defendants."
The oldest charge dates to 1999.
That’s when Badalamenti allegedly ordered the hostile takeover of a bar on Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, when its owner failed to pay a debt.
According to court papers, Badalamenti is the highest-ranking Bonanno member on the street. He "wields day-to-day control over all other Bonanno members and associates who are at liberty." He also allegedly controls a mob social club on 20th Avenue and 72nd Street in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst section.
Court documents said Calabrese, between May and August of 2010, participated in the extortion and beat-down of the owner of The Square pizzeria in New Dorp.
Feathers were ruffled over the shop’s pizzas, which were considered too similar to those of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn. However, the owner has denied being attacked or forced to pay money to end the hostilities, according to published reports.
Badalamenti, Balsamo, Calabrese, Graziano and Santora are charged, variously, under a 14-count indictment with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of extortion and extortion conspiracy. Santora is also accused of marijuana-distribution conspiracy and illegal gambling.
LaForte is charged with extortion and attempted extortion.
The suspects are to be arraigned today in Brooklyn federal court.
If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison, said prosecutors.



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