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.

U.S. deports Rosario Gambino, 67

Rosario Gambino, 67, was turned over to Italian authorities today, the Associated Press reported. Believed to be a leading member of the New York-based Gambino Crime Family, the cousin of former family boss Carlo Gambino was deported by the United States.

Rosario Gambino was linked to the Pizza Connection heroin and cocaine smuggling racket of the late 1970s and early 1980s. According to Italian police, Gambino was held in a California detention center since 2007, as he awaited expulsion.

Gambino will be brought to trial in Italy on drug and other charges.

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.