Thursday, June 5, 2008

17-count indictment against accused mobsters

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York yesterday unsealed a 17-count indictment against the acting boss and the underboss of the Colombo Crime Family, as well as 10 additional Colombo Family members and associates. The indictment charges racketeering conspiracy, including four acts of murder, robbery, extortion, narcotics trafficking and loansharking.

Prosecutors said the indictment was the result of a three-year investigation into Colombo Family activities.

Those charged in the indictment were:

  • Reputed boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, 55;
  • Reputed underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, 89;
  • Reputed "captain" Dino Calabro, 41;
  • Michael Catapano, 42;
  • Frank Campione, 65;
  • Joseph "Joey Caves" Competiello, 36;
  • Joseph DiGorga, 67;
  • Orlando Spado, 63;
  • Angelo Giangrande, 55;
  • John Capolino, 39;
  • Nicholas Bova, 31;
  • Christopher Curanovic, 26.

The indictment refers to four specific murders. It charges Calabro with the Jan. 9, 1992, armed robbery and felony murder of armored truck guard Carlos Pagan. It charges Gioeli and Calabro jointly with the March 25, 1992, double-murder of Colombo family soldier John Minerva and Minerva's friend Michael Imbergamo. It also charged Gioeli, Calabro and Colombo soldier Competiello with the June 12, 1991, retaliation murder of Frank Marasa.

If convicted of the charges against them, Gioeli, Calabro, Competiello, Spado and Curanovic face possible life imprisonment. Catapano faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Franzese, Campione, DiGorga, Giangrande and Capolino face possible 20-year sentences.

Nine nabbed in Colombo clan crackdown

Nine alleged members of the Colombo Crime Family, including reputed acting boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, were arrested yesterday on federal racketeering charges, according to published reports by the New York Daily News, the New York Times and the Associated Press.

A federal indictment unsealed in Brooklyn federal court accused the nine with Mafia-related crimes across the United States. Among the offenses charged to the group are fur thefts and murders in New York and impersonation of police officers in Los Angeles.

Gioeli, 55 (left), charged with robbery, three murders and extortion, pleaded not guilty. He is being held without bail. Two of the murders were related to the 1990s civil war within the Colombo clan. John Franzese, 89, reputed family underboss, was also charged, as were three men already held in prison.

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; 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.