Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alleged Bonanno crew indicted in Florida

Eleven residents of Florida's Palm Beach and Broward Counties were indicted May 21 on federal racketeering charges, according to a report by Don Jordan of the Palm Beach Post. Prosecutors say the 11 comprised a crew of the New York-based Bonanno Crime Family, to which they made regular tribute payments.

The 11 defendants are Thomas Fiore, 46, Palm Beach; Billie Robertson, 34, Boynton Beach; Lee Klein, 39, Boynton Beach; Daniel Young, 57, Delray Beach; Guy Alessi, 81, Delray Beach; Kenneth Dunn, 44, Boca Raton; Nicholas Fiore, 49, Boca Raton; Frank D'Amato, 48, of West Palm Beach; Pasquale Rubbo, 43, Coral Springs; Joseph Rubbo, 45, Coral Springs; and Marc Broder, 42, Coral Springs.

Prosecutors say Thomas Fiore (right) is an associate of the Bonanno Crime Family and the leader of its South Florida operations. None of the defendants is accused of being a formally inducted or "made" member of the criminal organization. Prosecutors say the crew engaged in fraud, narcotics trafficking, gambling and extortion.

The group was reportedly exposed through the work of an undercover FBI agent who posed as a corrupt businessman. The agent won the crew's trust by appearing to aid its money-laundering operations. The agent wore a hidden recording device to capture crew member conversations, according to a story by Curt Anderson of the Miami Herald.

Thomas and Nicholas Fiore and Pasquale and Joseph Rubbo were free on probation or supervised release after recent guilty pleas relating to other Bonanno criminal activities, prosecutors said.

Thomas Fiore pleaded guilty to state racketeering charges last year, according to the Miami Herald. While on probation, federal agents discovered a firearm during a search of his home. He was subsequently arrested for possession of the firearm. Then, as he was held on the possession charge, Fiore allegedly attempted to obstruct justice by asking someone else to claim ownership of the weapon. Prosecutors charge that Fiore burned down his own fitness center business in 2007 to defraud his insurance company.

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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.