Genovese Family Captain Found Guilty on Murder, Racketeering, Robbery, Extortion, Firearms, and Other Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 27, 2009|
LEV L. DASSIN, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; WEYSAN DUN, the Special Agent-in- Charge of the Newark Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"); and JOSEPH M. DEMAREST JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the FBI, announced today that ANGELO PRISCO, a Captain in the Genovese Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra, was found guilty after a two-week jury trial before United States District Judge NAOMI REICE BUCHWALD of crimes including murder, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, robbery, extortion, firearms crimes, property theft, and operating an illegal gambling business.
According to the evidence at trial and other documents filed in the case:
PRISCO was "made," or inducted, as a member of the Genovese Organized Crime Family in the late 1970s and was later promoted to Captain. As a Captain, PRISCO supervised, oversaw and profited from the criminal activities of his own crew of Genovese Family soldiers and associates. PRISCO's crew operated in the New York City area and in New Jersey.
On June 2, 1992, PRISCO arranged the murder of ANGELO SANGIUOLO, who was PRISCO's own first cousin. PRISCO received the order to kill SANGIUOLO from VINCENT GIGANTE, a/k/a "The Chin," who was then the Boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family. GIGANTE ordered PRISCO to murder SANGIUOLO because SANGIUOLO had been stealing from another Genovese soldier. PRISCO assigned two members of his crew, one of whom was JOHN LETO, a/k/a "Johnny Balls," to carry out the murder. PRISCO lured SANGIUOLO to PRISCO's social club in the Bronx. When SANGIUOLO arrived, PRISCO told him to get into a van with LETO and the other crew member. Inside the van, LETO shot SANGIUOLO numerous times, killing him. SANGIUOLO's body was left in the back of the van in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in the Bronx. PRISCO then picked up LETO at the McDonald's and accompanied him while LETO disposed of the murder weapon.
PRISCO was found guilty of conspiring to commit robberies with members of his crew, from 1991 to 1992, and later, in 2003 to 2005. In robberies in 1991 and 1992, PRISCO oversaw various crew members who carjacked and robbed at gunpoint jewelry dealers who were transporting large quantities of gold and other jewelry that they had purchased in the Dominican Republic. PRISCO received $20,000 in cash from one robbery, and a bag of gold worth about $50,000 from another robbery. PRISCO also bragged about the armed robberies at his Bronx social club, where he passed around a December 13, 1991, Newsday article about the robberies.
Also, from 2003 to 2005, PRISCO ordered, approved, and supervised multiple violent home invasion robberies targeting individuals believed to possess cash in their homes. During the robberies, numerous victims were tied up and beaten inside their own homes. PRISCO had to "green light" the robberies before they could occur, and PRISCO received a portion of any money stolen during the home invasions. PRISCO also instructed his crew members on his own personal robbery "policy" -- specifically, that his crew members should "play dumb" if it turned out that they had robbed another person who was tied to organized crime.
PRISCO also was found guilty of extortion and conspiracy to extort a Manhattan construction company owner. PRISCO and his crew first extorted the victim's company in 1997, when a member of PRISCO's crew at the time broke a glass coffee pot over the head of the victim’s business partner. Members of PRISCO's crew then pressured the victim and his business partner to drop the assault charge against that crew member. Seven years later, various other members of PRISCO's crew -- acting on PRISCO's orders, and following PRISCO's advice about how to collect the money -- returned to the same construction company and threatened to cut off the victim's finger and harm the victim's family. The victim paid PRISCO and his crew a total of $50,000. In addition, PRISCO extorted other individuals and businesses, including the owner of a diner in the Bronx; the owner of a night club in Manhattan; and an electrical contractor in Brooklyn.
PRISCO was found guilty of (1)racketeering conspiracy; (2) racketeering; (3) Hobbs Act Robbery conspiracy; (4) possession and use of firearms in connection with crime of violence; (5) extortion conspiracy; (6) extortion; (7) interstate transportation of stolen property; (8) receipt, possession, or sale of stolen property; (9) operating illegal gambling business PRISCO, 69, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 23, 2009.
Mr. DASSIN praised the work of the FBI's New York Field Office and the FBI's Newark Field Office, which was instrumental in developing the evidence supporting PRISCO's prosecution. Mr. DASSIN also praised the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation; the Orange County, New York District Attorney's Office; the Westchester County, New York District Attorney's Office; the New York State Police; the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; the New York Police Department; the United States Bureau of Prisons; the Morris County, New Jersey Prosecutor's Office; the Rockaway Township, New Jersey Police Department, all of which contributed to the investigation and prosecution of the case.
Assistant United States Attorneys ELIE HONIG and LISA ZORNBERG are in charge of the prosecution.