Wednesday, January 16, 2008

NJ bust links Lucchese clan to Bloods street gang

Mid-December arrests of Lucchese Crime Family members and associates revealed an underworld alliance between the Mafia organization and the Bloods street gang, according to a press release from the New Jersey Attorney General.

Ralph V. PernaThe release dated Dec. 18 announced the arrests of 27 individuals, including top-ranked members of the Lucchese family, for allegedly running a lucrative gambling operation that used extortion and violence to collect on debts. The ring is believed to have dealt with $2.2 billion in bets through a 15-month period. Those arrested included two of the three men believed by authorities to be serving on a ruling panel of the crime family, Joseph DiNapoli, 72, of Scarsdale, NY; and Matthew Madonna, 72, of Seldon, NY. (According to published reports, the third member of the ruling panel - and perhaps its senior member - is Aniello Migliore, former underboss to Antonio Corallo.) Also arrested was Ralph V. Perna, 61, of East Hanover, NJ. Authorities claim Perna (left) is a top capo for the New Jersey faction of the Lucchese clan. Perna's three sons were arrested with him.

Attorney General Anne Milgram noted, "We have disrupted the highest echelon of the Lucchese organized crime family in both New York and New Jersey... We also broke up an alarming alliance between the Lucchese crime family and the Bloods street gang to smuggle heroin, cocaine, marijuana and cell phones into East Jersey State Prison through an allegedly corrupt prison guard."

The smuggling scheme allegedly involved corrections officer Michael T. Bruinton, 43; Lucchese leaders and members of the Nine Trey Gangster set of the Bloods street gang.

The Attorney General's Office released the following list of defendants and charges:

  • Joseph DiNapoli, 72, Scarsdale, N.Y. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Matthew Madonna, 72, of Seldon, N.Y. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Ralph V. Perna, 61, East Hanover. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Joseph M. Perna, 38, Wyckoff. Promoting gambling, money laundering, racketeering, extortion (second degree), aggravated assault (second degree), conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree) and bribery (second degree).

  • John G. Perna, 30, West Caldwell. Promoting gambling, money laundering, racketeering, extortion (second degree) and aggravated assault (second degree).

  • Ralph M. Perna, 35, West Caldwell. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Martin Tacetta, 56, East Hanover. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Michael A. Cetta, 41, Wyckoff. Promoting gambling, money laundering, racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree) and bribery (second degree).

  • John V. Mangrella, 65, Clifton. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Alfonso “Tic” Cataldo, 65, Florham Park. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Antonio “Curly” Russo, 70, Bloomingdale. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Elliot Porco, 45, Bronx, N.Y. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Gianni Lacovo, 32, Elmwood Park. Promoting gambling, money laundering, racketeering, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault (second degree), and criminal usury (second degree).

  • James Furfaro Jr., 28, Parsippany. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • John N. Turi, 28, Clifton. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Michael T. Ramuno III, 33, Philadelphia. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Robert A. Romano, 29, Brick. Promoting gambling, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault (second degree) and racketeering.

  • Ron Scrips, 44, Staten Island, N.Y. Promoting gambling, money laundering and racketeering.

  • Samuel A. Juliano, 62, Glen Ridge. Racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree), bribery (second degree) and money laundering (third degree).

  • Edwin B. Spears, 33, Northern State Prison. Racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree), bribery (second degree) and money laundering (third degree).

  • Michael T. Bruinton, 43, Ringoes. Racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree), bribery (second degree) and money laundering (third degree).

  • Dwayne E. Spears, 28, Neptune. Racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree), bribery (second degree) and money laundering (third degree).

  • Francine Hightower, 50, Tinton Falls. Racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree), bribery (second degree) and money laundering (third degree).

  • Kristen A. Gilliam, 24, Farmingdale. Racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin (second degree), bribery (second degree) and money laundering (third degree).
See also: Smalley, Suzanne, "Unholy Alliance," Newsweek Web Exclusive, Dec. 21, 2007.

'Special measures' remain for jailed Basciano

"Special administrative measures" will remain in place for jailed crime boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

Basciano (right), boss of the Bonanno Crime Family since early 2004, is held under restrictions normally reserved for terrorists. He must remain in his cell 23 hours each day. Strict limits are placed on outside contact, even with family members.
Ephraim Savitt, Basciano's defense attorney, had hoped the restrictions would be eased as he and his client prepare for an upcoming capital murder trial. Judge Nicholas Garaufis yesterday sided with prosecutors who want the special measures to continue. "I find that there is sufficient evidence of Basciano's dangerousness to justify the government's safety concerns," the judge wrote.

Already imprisoned on a May 9, 2006, racketeering conviction, Basciano was convicted July 31 of the February 2001 racketeering-related murder of mobster Frank Santoro.

In September 2006, jailed Basciano was found to be in possession of a short list of names. Prosecutors charged that it was a list of people the crime boss wanted killed. The list included Judge Garaufis, a federal prosecutor and some Bonanno Crime Family turncoats. Basciano denied the charge, arguing that he was urged by a fellow inmate to compile the list as a sort of religious magic charm. The special administrative measures were imposed immediately after discovery of the list.

Prosecutors say Basciano has managed to do considerable harm while in custody and must be isolated as much as possible. They claim he ordered the 2004 murder of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo while behind bars. (Joey Massino, an earlier boss of the Bonanno Crime Family, aided in the Pizzolo murder investigation by wearing an electronic surveillance device during a meeting with Basciano.) Basciano's approaching murder trial is related to the Pizzolo hit. Prosecutors also charge that, while in prison, Basciano plotted against Bonanno acting boss Michael "Mikey Nose" Mancuso. Mancuso (left) also is currently facing murder charges for the Pizzolo murder.

US Mafia was born in New Orleans

book cover

 

Deep Water:
Joseph P. Macheca and the
Birth of the American Mafia

Written by Thomas Hunt and Martha Macheca Sheldon, Deep Water captures the life and times of Joseph P. Macheca. It finally sets the record straight on the man who was a warrior for the corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, a Confederate privateer and the legendary “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.
While answering at last the questions surrounding the 1890 assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the subsequent Crescent City lynchings, Deep Water establishes the factual details of Macheca’s life and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans. Published by iUniverse.


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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.