Monday, May 17, 2010

NJ charges 34 with gambling, racketeering

A New Jersey crackdown on the Lucchese Crime Family resulted in the mid-May indictment of 34 reputed members of associates of that criminal organization, according to reports by the Associated Press, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Morris County Daily Record. The indictment charges the men with racketeering, illegal gambling, money laundering and other crimes.

The state investigation began almost four years ago with a probe into illegal gambling. New Jersey officials estimate that the gambling ring generated $2.2 billion in a 15-month period. Wagers were funneled through Internet websites to a wire room in Costa Rica.

Most of those named in the indictment were arrested in mid-December 2007.

Two of the accused are Joseph DiNapoli, 74, of Scarsdale, NY, and Matthew Madonna, 74, of Seldon, NY. Prosecutors say those men comprise two-thirds of the leadership panel ruling the Lucchese Crime Family. Also indicted were Ralph V. Perna (right), 64, of East Hanover, NJ, and Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., 44, of Ventnor, NJ. Authorities say Perna has been the leader of the Lucchese clan within New Jersey since 2007, when Scarfo was deposed. Scarfo, who was not arrested in the 2007 raids, was arrested on a warrant in Egg Harbor Township after the recent indictment.

As the indictments were announced, New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow noted a growing alliance between the Lucchese organization and street gangs. She noted that Lucchese members had a working relationship with the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the Bloods to smuggle drugs and cellphones into East Jersey State Prison.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and 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.