Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sicilian mobsters return to power in NYC

Drug-trafficking Sicilian mobsters are returning to positions of influence in the New York City underworld, according to a story by Murray Weiss of the New York Post.
Joseph GambinoWeiss notes that some of the immigrant gangsters jailed in the Pizza Connection drug case have recently been released. He explains that investigators fear Sicilian bigshots like Rosario, John and Joseph Gambino will reassemble their criminal empires.
The three Gambino brothers are related to the late crime boss Carlo Gambino. Joseph Gambino (right) has been deported back to Sicily.

Miami mob boss gets 14 years

Renaldi "Ray" Ruggiero has been sentenced to 14 years in prison, according to reports by CBS-4 in Miami and the Miami Herald. As part of a February plea deal, Ruggiero stated he was guilty of racketeering conspiracy and acknowledged being the leader of the Genovese Crime Family wing in South Florida.

The 73-year-old's sentence also includes two years of supervised release, a $25,000 fine and a forfeiture of $10,000 that was seized by the government.

Ruggiero and six other men were arrested in June 2006, charged with various racketeering offenses, including extortion, robbery, money-laundering and possession of stolen property. The U.S. Attorney's case was supported by wiretaps of thousands of telephone calls by the group.

Five other defendants pleaded guilty to single racketeering conspiracy counts and received sentences between three-and-a-half years and eight years. The one defendant still awaiting sentencing is 97-year-old Albert "Chinky" Facchiano. He was charged in Florida and New York State and pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to tampering with a witness. Facchiano is scheduled for sentencing the end of this month.

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Split verdict in Pizzonia-DiConiglio case

A federal jury in Brooklyn found a reputed Gambino Crime Family captain guilty of plotting to murder Thomas and Rosemarie Uva in 1992, according to a story by Anthony M. DeStefano of Newsday.

Dominick Pizzonia, 65, remains in prison as his attorney appeals the jury verdict. Because he was also convicted of running a gambling enterprise, he could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy.

The jury did not convict Pizzonia of actual participation in the Uva murders, of participation in the June 1988 killing of Frank Boccia, or of two counts of extortion. Pizzonia's co-defendant in the Boccia slaying, Alfred DiConiglio, 77, was found not guilty.

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TV report previews Chicago Outfit trial

A video report by investigative reporter George Knapp of KLAS-Las Vegas summarizes the U.S. government's case against the Chicago Outfit in the upcoming "Family Secrets" trial.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin today, but it has been delayed two weeks.

Tony SpilotroFourteen defendants - including reputed mob boss "Joey the Clown" Lombardo - have been charged with numerous crimes, including the 1986 murders of Vegas gangster Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro (left) and his brother Michael. The killings were made famous in the movie "Casino."

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.