Home Boston Press Releases 2012 Alleged Acting New England Crime Boss Charged in Racketeering and Extortion Conspiracy

Alleged Acting New England Crime Boss Charged in Racketeering and Extortion Conspiracy
Nine Alleged Leaders, Underbosses, Members, or Associates of the New England Crime Family Identified as Having Been Indicted by a Rhode Island Federal Grand Jury and Arrested Since January 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 25, 2012
  • District of Rhode Island (401) 709-5000

PROVIDENCE—Anthony L. Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, Massachusetts, the alleged leader of the New England organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was ordered detained today following his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island, on racketeering and extortion charges. A sealed indictment returned on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 and unsealed today alleges, among other things, that Dinunzio and other leaders, members, and associates of the NELCN extorted protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island.

Dinunzio, who is charged with one count each of racketeering and extortion and five counts of travel in aid of racketeering, is the ninth alleged leader, underboss, member, or associate of the New England crime family of La Cosa Nostra to be reported out by the court as having been indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence on federal racketeering and related charges since January 2011. Five of the defendants, including admitted longtime former NELCN underboss and boss Luigi Manocchio and admitted capo regime Edward Lato have pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence and are detained while awaiting sentencing. A sixth defendant pled guilty and was sentenced on December 12, 2011 to 30 months in prison.

Theodore Cardillo, 69, of Cranston, Rhode Island, and Albino Folcarelli, 53, of Johnston, Rhode Island, alleged associates of the NELCN, and who were charged in indictments previously returned in this matter, were named in the third superseding indictment for their alleged roles in the extortion of several Rhode Island adult entertainment businesses and the extortion of another individual. Folcarelli, who previously pled not guilty in this matter and is detained, signed a plea agreement on April 17, 2012. He is expected to plead guilty before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith on May 4, 2012. Cardillo, who is released on bond, pled not guilty in this matter and is awaiting trial.

The third superseding indictment was announced today by Peter F. Neronha, United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Richard Deslauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.

The third superseding indictment alleges that Anthony Dinunzio, a member and capo of the NELCN, assumed a leadership role of the NELCN in late 2009 and early 2010 and ultimately became the acting boss. This superseding indictment alleges that Dinunzio participated with other NELCN members and associates in a racketeering conspiracy in which monthly cash payments for protection of $2,000 to $6,000 were demanded of the owners and operators of several adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island. Several of those NELCN members and associates have previously pled guilty to racketeering charges. This superseding indictment also alleges that on several occasions, at Dinunzio’s direction, crime family members from New England, New York, and New Jersey were consulted with and/or traveled to Massachusetts to discuss various criminal activities and crime family matters. Dinunzio also allegedly directed NELCN members to travel to various locations, including New York, for meetings to discuss various criminal activities and crime family matters.

According to this indictment, it is alleged that one such meeting occurred on November 3, 2009 in Boston at the wake of an NELCN member’s mother and later that same evening at a local restaurant. During these meetings, Dinunzio and another NELCN member allegedly discussed, among other things, the distribution of proceeds from the extortion of the Rhode Island adult entertainment businesses. Dinunzio allegedly indicated that a portion of the extorted money would now be coming to him and to the NELCN leadership in Boston. Previously, as alleged, the money had been going to former Rhode Island NELCN boss Luigi Manocchio, who had stepped down as boss in 2009.

In addition, this indictment alleges that in late 2009 or early 2010, Dinunzio asked another NELCN member to extort money from a prominent businessman in the adult entertainment industry in Rhode Island, who had over the years paid protection money to the Gambino crime family from New York. Dinunzio allegedly dispatched an NELCN member to New York to meet with Gambino crime family members on several occasions to receive Gambino family permission to extort money from the businessman for businesses he was operating in New England.

According to this indictment, it is alleged that on June 22, 2011, Dinunzio met with a senior made member of the Gambino crime family at a restaurant in Malden, Massachusetts. Dinunzio allegedly discussed the extortion of the Rhode Island strip clubs, indicating that “it is still going.” Dinunzio also discussed a May 5, 2011 FBI search of his person and the seizure of $5,000 cash in alleged protection money paid by Rhode Island businesses and brought to him by a NELCN leader from Rhode Island.

In this June 22, 2011, meeting with a senior Gambino crime family member, Dinunzio also allegedly discussed the rules for joining the NELCN. In discussing a fellow LCN member, Dinunzio allegedly stated, “You know what I can’t understand? How the hell did he get made, because he’s half Irish...I don’t understand that...that’s not the rules...you gotta do 100 percent [Italian].” Referring to a person sponsored for membership, Dinunzio allegedly stated, “I said he’s good. For 10 years he waited. Then he come and see me and said ‘Thank you, Anthony. You know I’m with you all the way.’ He deserved it though.”

According to this indictment, at the same June 22, 2010 meeting with a senior Gambino crime family member, Dinunzio allegedly discussed his NELCN leadership style, stating, “As soon as I took over, I changed everything. One guy...‘What if nobody wants to listen to you?’ ‘I said you’re shelved.’ He said, ‘What if they don’t wanna get shelved?’ ‘Well then you and I get to watch you die in the ground...I’ll bury you right in the [expletive] ground puts all the dirt. You’re alive. They stay there. I’ll stay there [expletive] 10 hours until you’re dead. And I’ll dig you back up and make sure you’re dead.’”

Finally, it is alleged that Dinunzio continued to be concerned about the investigation, arrests of other members, and possible government cooperators in the case. The third superseding indictment alleges that despite these concerns, he continued to try to get other members to assist in running the Rhode Island part of the criminal enterprise. At one point, during a December 7, 2011, meeting with a senior Gambino made member, Dinunzio allegedly commented, “If I go to the can. I’m still the boss...no matter what.”

An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland for the District of Rhode Island and Trial Attorney Sam Nazzaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.

The matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department.

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