Monday, June 16, 2008

Mob Turncoat Allowing State to Bring More Drug Charges

He's the rat who keeps on giving. The state is about to make a raft of new drug arrests courtesy of Mafia turncoat Joseph Vollaro, who has already helped hobble the Gambino crime family, the Daily News has learned.

Picking up where the feds left off, the state attorney general's office will soon start collaring about a dozen suspects on narcotics charges, sources said.

"It's going to be big," said a source with knowledge of the case.

Vollaro was a drug dealer before he began making money hand-over-fist in construction rackets with the Gambinos. When state investigators nailed him with a kilo of cocaine, the mob wanna-be eagerly flipped and began secretly recording mobsters and drug customers.

Several suspects have been approached recently by investigators and warned they face felony charges and long jail sentences. Unlike Joey the Rat, they have refused to cooperate and hired defense attorneys.

Those facing arrest are not tied to organized crime although Vollaro tried to entice Gambino associates into drug deals without success, sources said.

"I'm gonna do what I gotta do," Vollaro is heard saying as a preamble on taped recordings he made for law enforcement as he was about to embark on a drug deal.

Vollaro was en route to a drug sale three years ago when state investigators pulled over his car near Amboy Road on Staten Island. His customers watched from a distance as he was handcuffed and hauled away.

"Then he's back on the street a few hours later and he's trying to explain himself," said another source. "He said he had the drugs hidden in a trap (in his car) and they didn't find it. They (Vollaro's criminal associates) were suspicious but they didn't follow up to see if he was a rat because he was making money for them. It came down to greed."

If Vollaro ever makes his singing debut in a courtroom, there's a lot more dirt known about the shady businessman's activities now - including illegal dumping, money laundering and a previous marriage - than last February when prosecutors dropped a 62-defendant indictment on the Gambinos.

Vollaro's pregnant wife, Trish, hasn't entered the witness protection program with her hubby and their dogs, prompting speculation by the couple's acquaintances about her loyalties and trouble in their marriage.

"Lots of times they make it seem like (the wife) is angry at him and then she eventually goes into the program too," said another source.

Trish Vollaro is to be deposed in a civil case next month relating to the beating of 19-year-old Christopher Costantino outside her Docks Restaurant in Staten Island in 2004 that left him brain-damaged and in a wheelchair.

Several witnesses have claimed Joseph Vollaro was involved although it's unclear if he struck the victim, said Costantino's lawyer Evan Goldberg.

Thanks to John Marzulli

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