A 33-count indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court charging members and associates of the Bonanno organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the Bonanno family) variously with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, assault in-aid-of racketeering, conspiracy to commit assault in-aid-of racketeering, threatening to commit a crime of violence in-aid-of racketeering, use and possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, bank fraud, illegal gambling, extortion, extortion conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Those defendants arrested earlier today in New York are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn. The case has been assigned to U.S. Senior District Judge Charles P. Sifton.
The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Joseph M. Demarest, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, FBI, New York Field Office.
As alleged in the indictment and detention memorandum filed today, Joseph Sammartino, aka “Sammy,” is a Bonanno captain and member of the Bonanno ruling panel; Anthony Sclafani, aka “Scal,” is a Bonanno captain; Joseph Loiacono, aka “Joe Lefty,” and Anthony Pipitone, aka “Little Anthony,” are Bonanno family acting captains; Frank Pastore, aka “Big Frank,” and Paul Spina, aka “Fat Paulie,” are Bonanno family soldiers; and Manny Bana, Peter DeFilippo, Frank DeRosa, Vito Pipitone, Joseph Spatola, and Natale Terzo are Bonanno family associates. The indictment is the result of a lengthy investigation by the FBI, which involved numerous law enforcement techniques, including consensual recordings, cooperating witnesses, confidential sources, and surveillances. The indictment and detention memorandum detail a pattern of alleged mafia violence and intimidation, including threats to murder victims of Bonanno family extortion schemes. For example, on one occasion when a loanshark victim fell behind in payments, Bonanno family captain Sclafani allegedly told him, “you’re lucky we don’t saw you in half and leave you in the woods.” The recordings also captured Bonanno family members and associates discussing their participation in a violent stabbing assault of two individuals in 2004 in Whitestone, Queens.
The indictment announced today is the latest in an ongoing investigation that has resulted in the prosecution of more than 125 members and associates of the Bonanno family in the Eastern District of New York. Since March 2002, four Bonanno family bosses or acting bosses—Joseph Massino, Anthony Urso, Vincent Basciano, and Michael Mancuso—have been convicted on racketeering and racketeering-related charges, which included murder or murder conspiracy as a racketeering act.
“Members of organized crime continue to victimize our communities with their brand of violence and other criminal activity,” stated U. Attorney Campbell. “We will not rest until we dismantle the entire Bonanno crime family and each of the other families of La Cosa Nostra.” Mr. Campbell praised the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who led the government’s investigation.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Demarest stated, “The charges unsealed today are the culmination of another in a series of recent FBI investigations that put to lie the notion that violence is a thing of the past in organized crime. Today, as always, mob families are criminal enterprises bent on making money any way they can. As often as not, violence goes hand-in-hand with mobsters’ illegal schemes.”
If convicted, Bana, Frank DeRosa, Sebastian DeRosa, Loiacono, Lotito, Pastore, Anthony Pipitone, Vito Pipitone, Sammartino, Sclafani, Spatola, Frank Terzo, and Natale Terzo each face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment; DeFilippo faces a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment; and, based upon a prior felony information filed this morning, Spina faces mandatory life imprisonment.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole M. Argentieri, Gina M. Parlovecchio, and Duncan Levin.
Friday, October 09, 2009
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