Two alleged associates of the Genovese Crime Family and a third man were charged Thursday in Brooklyn federal court with robbery and murder, according to a story by Tom Hays of Newsday. Anthony Pica, Christopher Prince and Charles Santiago pleaded not guilty to the crimes. They are being held without bail.
U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said Pica and Prince were members of a robbery crew controlled by the Genovese Family.
According to the indictment, the defendants targeted jeweler Louis Antonelli on April 29, expecting him to be in possession of valuable jewelry. The indictment states that Pica and Prince identified Antonelli and alerted Santiago and a fourth unnamed accomplice when the jeweler exited a basement storage area below a restaurant on Staten Island. Santiago and the unnamed man confronted Antonelli. Santiago is charged with shooting the jeweler to death. The attackers then fled without any jewelry, said the indictment.
Antonelli's bodyguard, retired police Sgt. Jason Aiello, was inside the restaurant at the time of the attack. He was questioned by police but not charged. Aiello began behaving erratically. On July 22, police heard that Aiello was armed and possibly holding his family hostage. Officers approached Aiello and attempted to handcuff him, but he pulled a gun and fled. He reportedly shot in the direction of police a total of eight times. Officers shot him to death.
- Thomas Hunt
- Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related online forums. 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.