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

Friday, February 21, 2014

Gangster admits role in $1 million dollar cigarette theft scheme

One of eight people arrested in alleged scheme to steal and sell $1 million worth of cigarettes has pleaded guilty.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Tuesday that Augustine “Augie” Guido, 73, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to conspiracy to commit cargo theft. Guido and seven other people — with nicknames including "Jimmy Boy" and "Charlie Tuna" — were charged in December of 2012 for their alleged roles in the scheme after an informant wearing a wire helped the FBI catch the crew, Fishman has said. Guido was released on a $100,000 bond after his arrest.
"(The informant) assisted federal agents in multiple districts by providing material information, intelligence, and evidence concerning members and associates of La Cosa Nostra and their criminal activities," Fishman said in a news release Tuesday.
The informant also helped nab an East Hanover man who allegedly sold the informant cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Carmen T. Martucci of East Hanover alone was charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He could be imprisoned for as much as 20 years, and could face a $1 million fine.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office said charges against the others implicated in the cigarette theft scheme and against Martucci are still pending.
The investigation reaches back to January of 2010, when the informant and 72-year-old Guido of Staten Island attended a funeral together, according to a statement from Fishman's office at the time of the arrests. Guido was recorded asking the informant if he knew of any warehouses they could rob, and said he was interested in stealing perfume, cigarettes and pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Cooperating with the FBI, the informant took part in a sting operation in which he and the eight men stole a tractor-trailer loaded with 270 cases of counterfeit Pall Mall and Lucky 7 cigarettes from a warehouse in Edison, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Federal agents placed video cameras and other evidence-gathering equipment in the area, it said.
In June, the informant met with some of the men to discuss the planned theft of the trailer — another recorded meeting — the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
"Defendant Guido noted the lock was a 'piece of (expletive)' and advised the others than they needed ski masks and baseball caps," the U.S. Attorney's Office wrote in its announcement about the sting.
Then, on July 31, law enforcement officers saw and video-recorded some of them men, wearing masks, breaking into the warehouse and driving away with the trailer, which they dropped off at a warehouse in Perth Amboy, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In March 2011, the informant paid one of the men, James "Jimmy Boy" Dellaratta, 70, $500 — representing a portion of the sales from the cigarettes, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
In February of 2012, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of the Perth Amboy warehouse and found 52 full boxes, with each box containing about 50 cartons of the cigarettes, it said.
In a separate sting in June of 2011, the informant told the defendants that 25 32-inch televisions had been stolen, and the TVs were transported to New York by Guido and Torlone, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
Martucci, the East Hanover resident, allegedly sold cocaine to the informant on Jan. 26, 2010.

The full list of those charged in the thefts is:
• Augustine Guido, a.k.a. “Augie,” of Staten Island.
• James G. Dellaratta, a.k.a. “Jimmy Boy,” of Amityville, N.Y.
• John Torlone, a.k.a, “Samuel,” of Bellmore, N.Y.
• Charles A. Giustra, a.k.a, “Charlie Tuna,” of Staten Island
• Vincent J. Cerchio, of Staten Island
• Richard A. Lapenna, of Staten Island
• John S. Dicrescento, of unknown residence
• Anthony Gerbino, a.k.a. “Beansie,” of North Valley Stream, N.Y.



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