Genovese Organized Crime Family Captain Michael Coppola Sentenced to 16 Years’ Imprisonment on Racketeering Conviction
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2009|
This afternoon, Michael Coppola, a captain in the Genovese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment by United States District Judge John Gleeson following his conviction by a jury on racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges. The predicate acts the jury found proven included Coppola’s participation in a three-decade-long conspiracy to extort the leadership, and defraud the members, of International Longshoremen’s Association (“ILA”) Local 1235, a union that represents port workers in New Jersey.
The sentence was announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Joseph M. Demarest, Jr., Assistance Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; Deputy Inspector General Daniel Petrole; and Waterfront Commissioner Ronald Goldstock.
The trial evidence established that Coppola and others in the Genovese family controlled a succession of presidents at the union since the 1970s and extorted substantial tribute payments to the detriment of union members. The evidence included wiretap intercepts of calls in 2005 between Coppola and the son of Local 1235’s then-president in which Coppola was informed that tribute payments to the Genovese family had recently “almost doubled.”
In 1996, after being served with an investigative summons to provide a DNA sample to the state of New Jersey in connection with a murder investigation, Coppola fled and remained a fugitive for the next 11 years, using identification in numerous assumed names and traveling between residences in California and New York. The FBI captured Coppola on March 9, 2007, when an FBI team spotted him walking on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
United States Attorney Campbell expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the United States Department of Labor, and the Waterfront Commission for their efforts in investigating the case and apprehending Coppola.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amy Busa, Jack Dennehy, and Jacquelyn Rasulo.
MICHAEL COPPOLA, also known as “Andy,” “Jose Quinones,” “Joseph Carro,” “Michael Rizzoli,” “Joseph Rizzoli,” “Michael Rizzo,” “Joe Quinn,” and “Hector Carro”