Frank Cali, 43, and Leonard DiMaria, 67, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court yesterday to extortion-related charges, according to a story by Anthony M. DeStefano of Newsday. The two men were arrested in February along with dozens of others suspected of involvement in the Gambino Crime Family. Roughly half of the 60-plus defendants have reached plea deals.
Cali admitted to conspiring to extort money from a trucker working at a Staten Island NASCAR construction site. Prosecutors believe he is an acting "captain" in the Gambino criminal organization and also close to members of the Mafia in Sicily. He could get up to 24 months in prison when sentenced in September.
DiMaria admitted to conspiring to extort money from contractor/trucker Joseph Vollaro. Vollaro, a former mob associate, cooperated with investigators in the case. DiMaria, now ailing but once considered a powerhouse in the Gambino clan, faces up to five years in prison.
In a story by Murray Weiss last August, the New York Post called Cali a Gambino "ambassador to Sicilian mobsters" and linked him to the Inzerillo Mafia clan. That information was apparently obtained through Sicilian wiretaps. Authorities at the time still hadn't precisely identified Cali. In February, the New York Daily News reported that the Frank Cali arrested in the Gambino raids was linked with Sicily's Inzerillo Crime Family. The Italian Repubblica reported that Cali was born in New York on March 26, 1965, as Francesco Paolo Augusto Cali. His father, who has no criminal record, was an immigrant to New York who maintained a residence in Palermo. Cali married into the Inzerillo family. The Inzerillos had fled to New Jersey during the 1980s Mafia wars in Sicily. In 2003, much of the family returned to Sicily and became influential in the underworld there.
- 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.