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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Big Ang's friend is busted for selling cocaine

When he's not paling around with "Big Ang," Angela Raiola, on her reality-TV show, Anthony Cracchiolo earns his living selling pizza and Italian specialties at his Dongan Hills pizzeria.

But federal prosecutors allege Cracchiolo also makes cash another way: By peddling cocaine.

The 33-year-old Grasmere resident, who owns Anthony's Pizza Pasta Perfect on Hylan Boulevard, dealt cocaine on two separate occasions earlier this year to a government cooperator, said court papers.

Cracchiolo has been indicted in Brooklyn federal court on charges of cocaine distribution and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and is free on $100,000 bond, online court records show. He has denied the allegations.

According to court documents, the cooperator told federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents that Cracchiolo sells cocaine and marijuana.

The cooperator was wearing a wire on March 8 when he met the suspect and a co-conspirator at an undisclosed Staten Island location. Cracchiolo sold the witness an ounce of cocaine and told him more was available, said court papers.

"I got this [stuff] all day long too, if you want," court documents quote Cracchiolo as telling the cooperator.

The next day the cooperator met Cracchiolo on Staten Island and paid him $1,000 for the cocaine, said court filings.

About three weeks later on March 27, the cooperator again met Cracchiolo and the unidentified co-conspirator, this time in Brooklyn. Cracchiolo sold the witness two ounces of cocaine, said court papers.

The trio rendezvoused again April 3 on Staten Island, and the cooperator gave Cracchiolo an undisclosed amount of cash for the drugs, court documents state.

Those records say the cooperator previously pleaded guilty to charges of distribution and conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and is helping authorities in the hope of obtaining a reduced sentence.

Cracchiolo faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted, said a spokesman for Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The suspect's Brooklyn-based lawyer, Joseph Mure Jr., did not immediately return a telephone call Wednesday seeking comment.

Attempts to reach Cracchiolo's business by phone were unsuccessful.

Cracchiolo is no stranger to the law.

In February 1996, he was sentenced in Brooklyn as a juvenile delinquent to 15 months' probation after being convicted of felony drug sale, said court documents.

In September 2008, Cracchiolo was convicted of contempt of court in Broward County, Fla., court records said. He had been arrested six months earlier in that jurisdiction on charges including cyberstalking, harassment and contempt of court apparently stemming from a domestic incident, court papers state.

In May of this year, Cracchiolo was arrested in Nassau County on charges of reckless endangerment and drunken driving, court filings said. He pleaded guilty on Sept. 19 and was sentenced to three years' probation, a license revocation and a $500 fine, said court documents.

Cracchiolo had been riding high in recent months.

He's been featured the VH1 reality-TV show, "Big Ang." His pizzeria is next door to "Big Ang's Secret," a combination beauty salon and store, which Ms. Raiola, the breakout season-two star of the VH1 hit "Mob Wives," opened several months ago.

Cracchiolo has also hobnobbed with "Mob Wives" star Renee Graziano, who showed up at his restaurant's grand opening in June, Advance records show.



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