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

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Judge lets DeCavalcante family members out on bail

Two alleged members of the DeCavalcante crime family accused in a murder plot were released on bail today over the objections of a federal prosecutor who warned that the safety of the victim and an undercover agent is at risk.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk ordered the family's reputed family counsel, Frank Nigro, 72, and Paul Colella, 68, confined to their Toms River homes while they await trial on a charge of conspiring to kill a rival family member with the help of two outlaw bikers.

Each man was released on an unsecured bond of $250,000 apiece and must remain at home except for medical emergencies.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Donnelly urged Falk to keep both men locked up, saying they are key players in a crime family with a long history of conspiring against witnesses and could order up retaliation with little more than a phone call.

"There is nothing that's going to stop that," Donnelly said. "There is nothing that's going to prevent that.''

Falk said he, too, was concerned about reprisal.

"The government's claims about the safety of the community is legitimate," he said.

But, he said, those concerns could be allayed with stringent restrictions on the defendants' freedom while they're confined to their homes 24 hours a day.

As a condition of their release, both men will be allowed to use the phone and accept visitors only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and federal agents can choose to listen in on their phone calls if they choose, Falk said.

Nigro and Colella were among ten alleged members and associates of the crime family arrested Thursday following a FBI-led probe that began in September 2012.

Federal prosecutors say an undercover law enforcement agent managed to infiltrate the upper-ranks of the DeCavalcante family and eventually found himself enlisted in an alleged plot to kill a rival who had insulted Charles Stango, a 71-year-old alleged family capo.

The agent recorded Stango telling him that the unidentified victim "had to meet death or you gotta maim him or you just gotta put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life," according to a criminal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court.

Stango, who lives in Henderson, Nev., is in custody and is expected to be returned to New Jersey in the coming days to face charges in the alleged murder plot.

Also today Falk agreed to release Stango's son, Anthony, 33, of Brick, on a $150,000 unsecured bond.

The younger Stango is accused of conspiring with other members of his New Jersey-based crew to sell more than $100,000 worth of cocaine as well as a plan to start a prostitution business that would cater to a high-end clientele in the Toms River area, prosecutors say.

Donnelly said Anthony Stango has a number of convictions for burglaries and drug dealing over the past decade.

"He's shown just a complete disregard for any court orders in the past," Donnelly said.

Stango's attorney, Gary Mizzone, said his client weighs 370-pounds and suffers from Type 2 diabetes. "Quite frankly, judge, he's not the picture of health," Mizzone said.

"This is basically a prostitution and drug case for a guy who may have been trying to talk tough to his Dad on the phone," Mizzone said.

On the tape, Stango tells his father of plans to run the prostitution business and gets back some fatherly advice on the perils of being too greedy, the complaint says.

"The bulls and the bears, Anthony, they survive," Charles Stango tells his son, according to the complaint. "The pigs they get slaughtered. Ok?"

Stango will also be confined to his home for 24 hours a day.

Prosecutors say Nigro, a father of five married for 52 years, signed off on the plot to kill the unidentified rival referred to as "The Mutt."

And, prosecutors say, Colella supported Charles Stango by enlisting the approval of other family members for the plot.



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