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

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gambino family gambling boss from Stamford denied bond

The reputed boss of a multimillion-dollar Gambino crime family gambling operation will remain behind bars after a federal judge at least temporarily rejected a release package offering more than $2 million of properties in bond.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons advised Dean DePreta, his family and his lawyer, John Walkley, that she needed additional time to talk to U.S. probation officials about DePreta's conduct following his 2004 release from federal prison on similar charges. She intends to resume the hearing Friday.

The judge also heard an allegation from Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen that DePreta, 44, of Stamford, has been "seeking earnestly to become a made member" of the Gambino crime family. A made member is someone who took the oath of allegiance during an organized crime ceremony.

The prosecutor alleged that one of DePreta's duties as head of the gambling operation was to deliver a portion of the proceeds to the Gambino hierarchy. He said he has photographs of DePreta meeting with a Gambino member.

Chen said surveillance, court-authorized wiretaps and recorded conversations show that DePreta "is indisputably the leader of the criminal organization" involving a multimillion-dollar gambling operation.

The indictment alleges the operation recruited independent bookmakers who paid for protection, leased an internet gambling website in Costa Rica and ran three high-stakes card games at 514 Glenbrook Road and 859 East Main St. in Stamford and 2965 State St. in Hamden.

Chen said the operation earned $1.69 million during a six-month period ending in June 2011.

The prosecutor further informed Fitzsimmons that DePreta is facing essentially the same gambling and extortionate extension of credit charges for which he was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to 39 months in federal prison.

DePreta was one of 20 people arrested June 13 by the FBI, state and local police following a nearly two-year investigation into activities of the Gambino crime family in Fairfield County. Among those arrested was Richard Uva, 43, of Trumbull, who Chen described as DePreta's partner in Westover Pizza, a Stamford restaurant and the "No. 2 man" in the gambling enterprise. Uva was released on bond last week.

Both Uva and DePreta have maintained their innocence against the charges.

Meanwhile, Fitzsimmons did allow Frank Potolicchio, Sr., 62, of Stamford to be released on $750,000 property as a result of his arrest last week on a cocaine trafficking and weapons charge.

J. Robert Gulash, Potolicchio's lawyer, convinced the judge to allow his client to live with his brother, Guy Potolicchio, a retired Stamford police officer.



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