Friday, February 08, 2008

Gambino Crime Family Infrastructure Dismantled

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn today unleashed a sweeping 80-count indictment against more than 50 Gambino mobsters — including the entire leadership of the crime family — charging them with seven murders and widespread extortion conspiracies within New York City's construction industry

The indictment names Gambino acting boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico, underboss Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu, consigliere Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo, capo Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo, the late "Dapper Don" John Gotti's brother, Vincent, and his nephew, Richard Gotti Jr.

It also includes three Gambino captains, three acting captains, 16 soldiers, numerous associates and a handful of Bonanno and Genovese crime family members. In all, 62 mobsters have been charged.

D'Amico surrendered this afternoon, hours after dozens of his cohorts were rounded up in early-morning raids. But Nicholas Corozzo was not at his Long Island home when agents showed up yesterday to bust him, sources said.

"I can't think of a larger single-day roundup of substantial [Mafia] figures. I just can't think of a day that had this many arrests. Probably none in the last 10 years," said a law enforcement source.

"It dismantles the infrastructure of the family. You can't say it's the death knell because you don't know. It will still exist, to the point where it becomes increasingly difficult for the family to operate as it has in the past."

The arrests coincided with a massive takedown in Palermo, Sicily, where two dozen high-ranking Italian members of the Gambino family were arrested.

Italian authorities, who were at a New York press conference announcing the charges, said the raid in Sicily was sparked by a recent rekindling of the relationship between Sicilian and American members of the family.

Longtime Gambino soldier Charles Carneglia was charged with five murders, including the 1976 slaying of Brooklyn court officer Albert Gelb, who was set to testify about having wrested a firearm away from the mobster in a Queens diner. Carneglia also is charged with the 1990 fatal shooting of armored car guard Jose Delgado Rivera.
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He's also charged in the death of three gangsters: Gambino mobster Michael Cotillo in 1977 and Salvatore Puma in 1983, as well as family soldier Louis DiBono in 1990. DiBono's killing, later revealed on secret wiretap tapes of Gotti Sr., was committed because he failed to show up at a meeting with the Dapper Don when so order.

Nicholas Corozzo, who was once the family's heir apparent, is charged with the January 1996 double murder of Brooklyn drug dealer Robert Arena and his friend Thomas Maranga.

Corrozzo and 25 other mobsters are also charged in a separate indictment out of the Queens District Attorney's office that accused them of running a huge illegal sports betting operation.

Gambino family soldiers Vincent and Richard Gotti are charged with the attempted murder of an unnamed person.

The indictment also charges the family with having tight control over several construction projects in the New York area, including the proposed Nascar racing track on Staten Island — a project opposed by residents that never saw the light of day — and the Liberty View Harbor construction site in Jersey City, NJ.

"Today we serve notice that anyone who aspired to a position in organized crime will meet the same fate. We will not rest until we rid our communities and businesses of the scourge of organized crime," said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell.

Campbell, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Queens DA Richard Brown, and Deputy FBI Director Mark Mershon led a press conference in the U.S. Attorney's office this morning to announce the arrests.

Thanks to Stephanie Cohen

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