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

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Connecticut based Gambino mobster asks judge to be released on bail again

After listening to nearly two hours of prodding, pleading and professing, a federal judge was not immediately ready to spring the reputed southern Connecticut Gambino crime family head from his Rhode Island jail cell.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons said she needed more time to review the matter before making a decision on releasing or continuing the detention of Dean DePreta, 44, of 59 Bartina Lane, Stamford, a co-owner of Westover Pizza in Stamford.
Pending before the judge is a release package proposed by Ethan Levin-Epstein, DePreta's lawyer, that includes a $4.5 million bond, electronic monitoring, home detention, cellphone restrictions, and random visits by U.S. Probation.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen maintained none of this would ensure DePreta, who he called "the titular head of the Gambino crime family in southern Connecticut," would abide by the conditions.
The mob prosecutor pointed out that the gambling operation generated $1.69 million in profits over a span of 38 weeks.
Additionally, Chen said DePreta is facing the same federal gambling and extortion charges that sent him to federal prison for 39 months in 2002.
Chen further said the FBI has information that DePreta resumed his involvement with the mob in 2006 while on supervised release.
"The best indication on how an individual would do on pre-trial release is how he did on supervised release," Chen told the judge.
For the time being, DePreta was returned to the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, R.I., where he has been since June while awaiting an April trial with 18 other defendants on federal racketeering and gambling charges.
The prosecutor characterized the evidence against DePreta as "overwhelming" and includes "wiretaps, consensual recordings, surveillance."
Several of the consensual recordings were made by Nicholas "Nicky Skins" Stefanelli, a Gambino soldier who for two years wore a wire for the feds recording numerous members of the New York, Philadelphia and Providence, R.I., mobs.
Stefanelli agreed to cooperate after he and his son were caught in a drug deal. Stefanelli, 69, killed himself on Feb. 26, 2012, shortly after murdering the man he believed gave him up.
Chen produced surveillance pictures of meetings between Stefanelli and DePreta, as well as DePreta and Mario Antonicelli, another Gambino soldier.
While Chen said DePreta is "the CEO" of the Gambinos' local operation, he accused Richard Uva, 43, of Trumbull, of being the chief operating officer. Uva, DePreta's long-time friend and co-owner of Westover Pizza, is a co-defendant in the case.
Levin-Epstein pointed out that Uva is free on bond, while DePreta remains in jail.
Both men have pleaded innocent to the charges.


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