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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Five Staten Island men charged in Lucchese family bust

Five Staten Islanders were among  19 individuals, including the entire administration of the Luchese organized crime family, charged Wednesday with an array of crimes including murder, attempted murder, racketeering, gambling, witness tampering and narcotics trafficking, said officials.
The borough residents named in a superseding indictment unsealed in federal court in White Plains are John "Big John" Castellucci, 57; Tindaro "Tino" Corso, 56; and Dominic Truscello, 83, who were alleged captains or acting captains in the family, authorities said.
Also indicted were Staten Island residents Joseph "Big Joe/Joey Glasses" Datello, 66, a reputed solider and "made man" in the family and Richard O'Connor, 63, an alleged Luchese associate, said authorities.
In addition, the Luchese's top brass was indicted: Matthew Madonna, 81, the reputed street boss; Steven Crea Sr., 69, the alleged underboss, and Joseph DiNapoli, 81, the reputed consigliere, officials said.
Among the allegations, Datello and Crea attempted to murder a witness who previously provided information about mob activities to state and local law enforcement, said officials.
Madonna, Crea and three others are accused of murdering or arranging the murder of Michael Meldish in the Bronx in November 2013, to maintain or increase their status in the gang, authorities said.
 "As today's charges demonstrate, La Cosa Nostra remains alive and active in New York City," said Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  "... The defendants allegedly used violence and threats of violence, as the mob always has, to make illegal money, to enforce discipline in the ranks, and to silence witnesses."
Kim announced the indictment along with officials from the FBI New York Field Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor and Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill.
Said O'Neill, "The allegations and extent of the criminal behavior are extraordinary. The Luchese Family operated with seeming impunity, allegedly carrying out murder, robberies, extortion, among a myriad of other charges unsealed today."
From Sammy the Bull to the 'Mafia Cops' -- Staten Island's most notorious mob incidents
The alleged racketeering conspiracy spans the years 2000 through 2017.
According to the indictment, the five Staten Island defendants and others extorted loan-collection money, property and employment opportunities by threatening victims with physical or economic harm.
Corso, Datello and others assaulted and abetted physical attacks on Luchese members and associates to enforce rules and also intimidated victims of the racketeering enterprise with similar force, alleges the indictment.
In other criminal actions, Datello, O'Connor and others conspired to distribute cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, the indictment alleges. Datello also allegedly colluded to import cocaine from South America.
Those two defendants, along with Corso and others, promoted gambling, including "Joker Poker"-type machines, the indictment said.
Datello, Corso, O'Connor and Castellucci also allegedly trafficked in contraband cigarettes.
The five borough residents, who were to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon, potentially face up to life in prison if convicted, authorities said.
Their lawyers' names were not immediately available.
Both the indictment and officials from the U.S. Attorney's office spell the family name as "Luchese." Many outlets spell the family name as "Lucchese."
Advance records show Datello, back in November 2009, was part of a major mob bust.
He and his brother, Frank Datello, were accused of running an illegal gambling and money-lending operation from Frank Datello's bar, the Night Gallery, on New Dorp Plaza, from October 2007 through July 2009, according to then-state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.
The brothers often loaned some gamblers thousands of dollars at an interest rate exceeding the criminal usury rate of 25 percent, authorities said.
The crew  paid a "tribute" from the earnings to alleged Luchese capo Anthony Croce of Manhattan, who allegedly spearheaded the operation with Joseph Datello.
The brothers each pleaded guilty in April 2010 in state Supreme Court, St. George, to a felony count of attempted first-degree usury.
Joseph Datello was sentenced in May of that year to 21 months to 42 months in state prison.



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