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

Friday, February 3, 2012

DEA has uncovered mob linked drug smuggling ring that bribed doormen

Let’s see how they do opening cell doors.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has uncovered a mob-linked drug smuggling ring that bribed doormen at tony addresses - including exclusive buildings in Manhattan - to sign for packages that contain cocaine, The Post has learned.
The doormen, officials said, knew very well that something shady was going on — because many of the parcels were addressed to people who didn’t live at the addresses.
Leaders of the ring believed that using prestigious addresses that offer doorman service was a gold-standard guarantee that their dealings would fly under the radar of narcotics investigators.
The doormen would hold the packages until the traffickers could pick them up, according to papers filed in Brooklyn federal court by Assistant US Attorney Rachel Nash.
DEA agent Erin Mulvey said, ”This is one other ruse that drug traffickers are using to distribute drugs throughout our city.”
So far, the DEA has charged two New York men: alleged traffickers Lulzim Kupa and Nezer Papraniku. Authorities said Kupa has ties to a Gambino wiseguy.
The DEA said it is unsure how many doormen accepted lucrative pay-offs or how many residential buildings were used in the scheme.
”It’s still an ongoing investigation - we’re still looking into it,” Mulvey said.
Kupa allegedly coordinated the cocaine trafficking scheme with Joseph “Joe Boy” Sclafani, according to a report filed by DEA agent Frank Adamo.
Back in 1989, Sclafani - a reputed Gambino crime-family soldier - was wounded in the mob rub-out of Costabile “Gus” Farace, a suspect in the murder of a DEA agent.
Sclafani was later convicted of helping Farace evade a federal manhunt.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors have not charged Sclafani with the doormen cocaine trafficking scheme.
But he’s facing earlier charges of running a syndicate that sold marijuana that was grown in hydroponic greenhouses in Staten Island, authorities say.
Both Kupa and Papraniku have pleaded not guilty to the cocaine trafficking charges. A federal magistrate judge yesterday denied an effort by defense attorney Michael Rosen to get Kupa out on bail - with the judge citing his “extensive criminal history. .
How many - if any - doormen might face prosecution down the road is unclear, authorities said.
But the DEA said in court documents that it has several informants who possess inside knowledge about the doormen cocaine smuggling scheme, so additional arrests may follow.


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