Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges 26 Gambino Crime Family Leaders, Members, and Associates on Racketeering, Murder, Narcotics, Firearms, and Other Charges
Manhattan Federal Prosecutors Allege That Gambino Family Generated Tens of Millions of Dollars in Illegal Proceeds from Narcotics Trafficking Crimes
|U.S. Attorney's Office January 20, 2011|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JANICE K. FEDARCYK, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced the arrests today of 26 leaders, members, and associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra (the "Gambino Family"), including some of its most senior members. The defendants were arrested on charges including racketeering, murder, cocaine and marijuana trafficking, extortion, firearms offenses, assault, arson, loansharking, stolen property crimes, and illegal gambling. The arrests today are part of a coordinated, national organized crime takedown. The charges are contained in two Indictments, United States v. Joseph Corozzo, et al. and United States v. John Cipolla, et al.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: "Today's charges against 26 men alleged to be among the Gambino Crime Family's most powerful leaders, members, and associates, coupled with the recent convictions of Daniel Marino and 13 others, is another step towards our goal of cutting La Cosa Nostra off at its knees. According to the charges, the defendants stopped at nothing—including murder, extortion, and intimidation—to protect their criminal enterprise and multi-million-dollar profits. Together with our partners at the FBI and the NYPD, we will do everything within our power to rid this city of the scourge that is the mafia."
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge JANICE K. FEDARCYK said: "The arrests today are a culmination of many investigations spanning years that will continue as the New York Office of the FBI and our law enforcement partners remain vigilant to bringing all those involved in organized crime to justice. The long list of charges against the defendants shows that not only is organized crime still around, but it is just as violent as ever, inflicting damage in both our communities and economy." The defendants charged today and their alleged positions in the Gambino Family are as follows:
• JOSEPH COROZZO, a longtime member of the Gambino Family, is the consiglieri, which is one of the highest ranking positions in the family;
• BARTOLOMEO VERNACE, a longtime Gambino Family member who currently sits on a three-member ruling panel presiding over the Gambino Family’s affairs;
• ALPHONSE TRUCCHIO and LOUIS MASTRANGELO, captains in the Gambino Family, supervise crews of street-level members (individuals who have been formally initiated and are known as "soldiers") and associates (non-initiated individuals who committed crimes with and for the Gambino Family);
• TRUCCHIO’s crew includes: soldiers MICHAEL ROCCAFORTE and ANTHONY MOSCATIELLO, and associates FRANK BELLANTONI, CHRISTOPHER COLON, CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS, SALVATORE TORTORICI, MICHAEL RUSSO, ANTHINO RUSSO, FRANK ROCCAFORTE, JOHN BRANCACCIO, SALVATORE ACCARDI, KEITH CROCE, SEAN DUNN, and MICHAEL KUHTENIA;
• MASTRANGELO’s crew includes: soldier VINCENZO FROGIERO and associates TODD LABARCA and ROBERT BUCHOLZ;
• TRUCCHIO, MASTRANGELO, and their crew members operate under the authority and supervision of COROZZO and VERNACE.
The 21 defendants listed above are charged with racketeering offenses. Five additional defendants—JOHN CIPOLLA, FRANK BOEHME, ANTHONY MASCUZZIO, JONATHAN MASCUZZIO, and FRANCIS LACORTE—are charged with marijuana trafficking and/or interstate transportation of stolen property crimes. The two Indictments unsealed today in Manhattan federal court charged the following crimes, among others:
Murder of Martin Bosshart
In the early 2000’s, Martin Bosshart was involved in narcotics trafficking and other crimes with various members of TRUCCHIO’s crew. In approximately 2001, Bosshart proposed to LABARCA and other crew members that they cut ROCCAFORTE—who was higher-ranking than Bosshart within the Gambino Family—out of a lucrative, ongoing drug trafficking business. As a result, LABARCA and others planned to murder Bosshart. On January 2, 2002, LABARCA and others lured Bosshart into a car and shot him execution-style in the back of the head, leaving his body on the side of a road in Queens.
(COROZZO, TRUCCHIO, MASTRANGELO, ROCCAFORTE, MOSCATIELLO, LABARCA, COLON, REYNOLDS, TORTORICI, ANTHINO RUSSO, BRANCACCIO, CROCE, DUNN, BUCHOLZ, CIPOLLA, BOEHME, ANTHONY MASCUZZIO, JONATHAN MASCUZZIO)
From the late 1980s through 2010, COROZZO and TRUCCHIO oversaw the Gambino Family’s large-scale narcotics distribution operations, which were primarily located in Queens, New York. Numerous drug suppliers, wholesalers, and street dealers operated under the authority of, and with the protection of COROZZO, TRUCCHIO, and the Gambino Family; in return, those individuals paid a portion of their profits up to COROZZO, TRUCCHIO, and the Gambino Family. Over the years, the defendants have distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine of marijuana and tens of thousands of ecstasy pills, all of which generated tens of millions of dollars in illegal proceeds for the Gambino Family. Additionally, ANTHONY CIPOLLA, BOEHME, ANTHONY MASCUZZIO, and JONATHAN MASCUZZIO operated a marijuana importation and distribution network that trafficked in thousands of kilograms of marijuana.
Extortions, Assaults and Firearms
(COROZZO, TRUCCHIO, MASTRANGELO, COLON, REYNOLDS, FRANK ROCCAFORTE, BRANCACCIO, and ACCARDI)
These defendants are charged with five separate instances of extorting payments from various businesses and individuals through the use of violence and threats, and with assaulting individuals who had crossed the Gambino Family in other ways. In certain instances, the defendants possessed and brandished firearms to intimidate their victims.
(COROZZO, VERNACE, TRUCCHIO, MASTRANGELO, MICHAEL ROCCAFORTE, MOSCATIELLO, FROGIERO, LABARCA, BELLANTONI, TORTORICI, DUNN and KUHTENIA)
These defendants are charged with making and collecting extortionate extensions of credit—commonly known as "loansharking." When debtors became unable to keep up their repayment obligations, the defendants threatened and at times assaulted them in order to collect payment.
Stolen Property Crimes
(BOEHME, ANTHONY MASCUZZIO, LACORTE)
In 2008, these defendants broke into various electronics stores across the northeastern United States and stole a total of over $1 million in goods. They then transported the stolen goods across state lines and sold them to various purchasers.
(COROZZO, VERNACE, TRUCCHIO, MASTRANGELO, MICHAEL ROCCAFORTE, MOSCATIELLO, FROGIERO, LABARCA, BELLANTONI, COLON, REYNOLDS, TORTORICI, MICHAEL RUSSO, ANTHINO RUSSO, FRANK ROCCAFORTE, BRANCACCIO, ACCARDI, CROCE, and KUHTENIA)
These defendants are charged with running illegal gambling operations for the Gambino Family, including Internet-based sports betting, or "bookmaking," operations, and various regular, high-stakes card games.
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As part of the national takedown, 91 members and associates of seven organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra (LCN), including the New England LCN family, all five New York-based families, and the New Jersey-based Decavalcante family have been charged with federal crimes in 16 Indictments returned in four judicial districts—the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the District of New Jersey, and the Eastern District of Rhode Island. Another 36 defendants also have been charged for their roles in alleged associated criminal activity.
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case. He thanked the NYPD for their assistance. Mr. BHARARA also noted that the investigation is continuing.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys ELIE HONIG, JOHN ZACH, and PETER SKINNER are in charge of the prosecution. The case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit.
The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.