The Chicago Syndicate: What do Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey. Hollywood Actor Steven Seagal Have in Common?
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What do Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey. Hollywood Actor Steven Seagal Have in Common?

Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey. Hollywood actor Steven Seagal.

All had one thing in common: Their names have been attached to mob captain Angelo Prisco, who today was found guilty in the murder of a cousin suspected of stealing from fellow mobsters.

After a two-week jury trial in New York City, Prisco, a Genovese crime family captain who was in charge of the New Jersey operations, was convicted in the 1992 murder of Angelo Sangiuolo in the Bronx.

Prisco, 69, who divided his time between Toms River and the Bronx and was nicknamed "The Horn," was found guilty of murder, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, robbery, extortion, firearms crimes, property theft and operating an illegal gambling business.

Prisco was at the center of headlines in 2002 when an aide to McGreevey and tough-guy actor Seagal allegedly sought to get him early parole on a 1998 arson and conspiracy conviction.

Facing a shakedown by the Gambino crime family, Seagal sought Prisco's help as a mediator, according to an FBI tape. Prisco in turn asked for the actor's assistance in helping him win parole, which he was granted in 2002, having served just four years of a 12-year sentence.

McGreevey and his aide denied the allegations, but state and federal grand juries were formed to investigate the controversial parole. No charges were ever filed, but sources at the time told The Star-Ledger parole officials told investigators the governor's office intervened to help Prisco.

Prisco received the order to kill Sangiuolo from then-boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, and assigned John "Johnny Balls" Leto and another member of his crew to carry out the killing at a Bronx social club, prosecutors said. After Prisco ordered Sangiuolo into a van, Leto shot Sangiuolo numerous times before leaving the body in the back of the van at a McDonald's, prosecutors said.

Prisco then picked up Leto at the fast food restaurant and accompanied him while Leto disposed of the gun, prosecutors said.

Prisco also was convicted of conspiring to commit robberies with crew members in 1991-92, including car-jackings and armed robberies of jewelry dealers transporting large quantities of gold bought in the Dominican Republic, prosecutors said. One robbery yielded a bag of gold worth $50,000, and Prisco bragged about the heists by passing around a newspaper article on the robberies, prosecutors said.

In 1997, in an attempt to extort $50,000 from a Manhattan construction company owner, prosecutors said Prisco sent his crew to break a glass coffeepot over the head of the owner's business partner. Later, crew members threatened to cut off the owner's finger and harm his family, prosecutors said.

Between 2003-05, Prisco "green lighted" multiple violent home robberies in which individuals thought to have cash in their homes were tied up and beaten, prosecutors said.

He faces 15 years to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for July 23.

Among his plaudits, Lev L. Dassin, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, praised law enforcement agencies in New Jersey for their contributions to the investigation and prosecution of the case, including the FBI's Newark field office, the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, the Morris County prosecutor's office and Rockaway Township police.

On FBI tapes, Prisco told his driver: "Outside of you being the boss, this life sucks. And it's like a Catch-22. If you're the boss, you go to jail. This life ... it ain't what it's cracked up to be."

Thanks to Mike Frassinelli

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