The Chicago Syndicate: Charles Carneglia

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Showing posts with label Charles Carneglia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charles Carneglia. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Indictment of "Junior" Gotti Includes Conspiracy Charges Tied to Cocaine Trafficking and 3 Murders

John A. "Junior" Gotti has been indicted on conspiracy charges in Florida, linking him to large-scale cocaine trafficking and the slayings of three New York men in the late 1980s and early 1990s, federal officials said Tuesday.

Federal prosecutor Robert O'Neill announced the indictment of the 44-year-old Gotti and five other men at a news conference. He said the indictment showed that the men were "trying to gain a foothold" in the area.

"What should be noted today is whether you violate the federal law today, tomorrow, or 20 years ago, the FBI and its law enforcement partners will pursue the matter to its logical conclusions," said Steven E. Ibison, special agent-in-charge of the Tampa FBI office.

Indictment of Gotti — the son of the late Gambino family crime boss John Gotti — was arrested at his Long Island home and is expected to appear later Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

The conspiracy indictment against Gotti accuses him of being a chief in an arm of the Gambino crime family that operated in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania since about 1983. That enterprise was involved in everything from murder and kidnapping to witness tampering and money laundering, and had its fingers in legal and illegal businesses and union locals, federal authorities said.

It says he was involved in the slayings of George Grosso in Queens, NY, in 1988; Louis DiBono, who was killed in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in Manhattan in 1990; and Bruce John Gotterup, killed in 1991 at the Boardwalk at the Rockaways in Queens. It also accuses him of possession and trafficking of more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.

A second indictment charges Gotti associates John A. Burke, 47, who is in prison in New York; James V. Cadicamo, 33, of Tampa; David D'Arpino, 33, of Howard Beach, NY; Michael D. Finnerty, 43, of Oceanside, NY; and Guy T. Peden, 47, of Wantagh, NY.

Both indictments were handed up last month.

In 1999, Junior Gotti pleaded guilty to racketeering crimes including bribery, extortion, gambling and fraud. He was sentenced to 77 months in prison and was released in 2005.

Gotti also was tried three times in Manhattan on racketeering charges for an alleged plot to kidnap Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. The trials in 2005 and 2006 ended in hung juries and mistrials.

Federal prosecutors announced at the time that they were giving up — and Gotti said he had long since retired from his life of crime.

"They tried very hard to convict him up here. They spared no resources and it didn't work," said Gotti's attorney, Charles Carnesi. "It's tragic for him and his family to have to continually go through this. It's almost laughable."

Federal authorities in Florida successfully convicted other suspected members of the Tampa-area Gambino enterprise in 2006, including Michael Malone, Charles Carneglia and Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio. The former alleged boss of the Tampa enterprise, John E. Alite, is awaiting trial in Tampa after being captured and extradited from Brazil.

Thanks to Christine Armario and Thomas Hays

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Mob Ties That Bind in Ozone Park

Standing in front of the old site of the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Ozone Park, Queens, you can see a few immediate differences between its appearance now and its appearance when it was home base for the John J. Gotti and his associates in the Gambino crime family.

First, the space, at 98-04 101st Avenue, has been divided into two businesses, a medical supply store and a pet groomer, and it looks a lot more welcoming now than it used to. Second, there was some faded graffiti on the front of the building. That is the kind of thing, people in the neighborhood said this week, that would not have flown when Mr. Gotti, who died in prison in 2002, was still around.

I was in Ozone Park to visit a couple of Mafia landmarks for the Dispatches feature in this week’s City section, and to see what people thought about the arrests last week of dozens of people accused of involvement with organized crime. One thing that’s clear is that Mr. Gotti and his compatriots really did, and do, have a following in the neighborhood. They put on fireworks shows and held barbecues at the club, and anyone was welcome. And, people said, they kept the streets clean and safe, and scared away street criminals.

That last point is one you hear a lot regarding the civic benefits of organized crime, but I couldn’t find any substantiation for it in the city’s crime statistics. There are two police precincts covering Ozone Park, the 102nd and the 106th, and in both, every category of crime that the police track is down substantially since 1990, which was two years before Mr. Gotti went to prison.

The numbers can’t tell the whole story, of course — the city in general was a more dangerous place all those years ago, and maybe things would have been even worse in the neighborhood if Mr. Gotti hadn’t been around keeping an eye on things. But empirically, it seems the most you can say is that some people in the area felt safer. Albert Gelb, the court security officer killed near his home in the neighborhood in 1976, certainly wasn’t safer, and neither was John Favara, Mr. Gotti’s neighbor in nearby Howard Beach, who accidentally ran over Mr. Gotti’s son and disappeared in 1980, maybe to wind up dead and buried in an Ozone Park lot.

Things are not what they used to be, anyway. The neighborhood is less Italian than it was, and its newer residents lack a connection to the Gambinos’ prime years and may not have even heard of Mr. Gotti. And a quick search for addresses of the people named in the 170-page indictment reveals locations all over the tristate region, often in tonier areas than Ozone Park, a modest neighborhood of small, shingled houses.
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Some people in the neighborhood who remember organized crime figures are not interested in discussing them. One business owner, who had stopped by the pet grooming store in the former Bergin social club storefront while I was there, maintained a stony silence on the topic of Mr. Gotti. But then, he had arrived while I was standing in Mr. Gotti’s old bathroom with a notepad, trying to find the words to describe his odd-looking toilet, so the man’s discretion did make some sense.

Others were almost as circumspect, but revealed a bit more. A waitress at the Esquire Diner, where Albert Gelb once clashed with Charles Carneglia, the man charged in his killing, said she was sad to see the era of Mr. Gotti and his former associates come to an end. The way they socialized, she said, was a lot like the mobsters’ nights out depicted in Martin Scorcese’s “Goodfellas” — being ushered to special tables in expensive nightclubs and spending large sums of money on food and drinks.

It’s tempting sometimes to conflate movie mobsters with their real-life counterparts, and generally that is a temptation worth avoiding. I couldn’t resist, though, taking a peek at the table-side jukebox mounted in my booth at the Esquire. Yes, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is in there — No. 2602.

Thanks to Jake Mooney

Sunday, February 10, 2008

After Husband is Arrested, Did Mobster's Wife Reach Out and Touch a Warning to Her Reputed Gambino Capo Father

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Reputed Gambino capo Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo was able to elude the feds' rubout of more than 100 of his associates Thursday - allegedly thanks to a timely, heads-up phone call from his daughter, who had just watched her mobster husband hauled away in cuffs, sources told The Post yesterday.

Vincent "Skinny" Dragonetti was busted as he walked out of his Bellmore, LI, home a few minutes ahead of the early-morning synchronized sweep. That gave his wife, Bernadette, enough time to warn her dad, who lives a few blocks down the same street.

Corozzo was so quick in fleeing that he left behind his wallet, sources said.

Bernadette refused to answer a Post reporter's questions yesterday, slamming the door in his face.

Corozzo remained on the lam as new details emerged about the historic mass arrest - which involved charges of murder, corruption, extortion, drug dealing and loan-sharking from the city to Sicily.

Its central figure, Staten Island truck-company owner Joseph Vollaro, wore a wire for more than two years.

The ex-con provided intricate details of the Gambino crime family's inner workings at meetings and meals with top bosses, sources said.

Vollaro, who had been staring at a life sentence after he was pinched with two kilos of cocaine in 2004, made the deal in exchange for his freedom and entry into the witness-protection program.

His wife has decided not to join him in the program, which he entered last week as the feds were putting the finishing details on Thursday's massive bust, sources said. The couple has no kids.

As valuable as Vollaro was in bringing down one of the city's biggest crime syndicates, the feds apparently didn't know what to expect when he first agreed to help with their large-scale investigation.

Vollaro, who shared a federal prison cell with Corozzo and began doing business with the Gambinos when he got out in 1999, was initially expected to help with a multifaceted national drug investigation. But he cozied up to the "family" so well over the next few years that he was even on the verge of becoming a made man when the hammer fell on the organization, the sources said.

Vollaro's sweetheart deal sickened the rogues gallery of thugs he ratted out.

"Everybody thought he was a nice guy," said Joel Winograd, the lawyer for Leonard "The Conductor" DiMaria, who, among other things, is charged with money laundering, stealing union benefits and gambling. "He's probably in Hawaii on the beach spending his illegally obtained drug-dealing money right now."

The evidence obtained by Vollaro was a key building block for many of the extortion and racketeering cases.

The multiple murder charges - for crimes that date back as far as 30 years - were brought with extensive wiretap evidence gathered by longtime Gambino associate Peter Zuccaro, 52.

Zuccaro was a key member of one of Corozzo's biggest crews run by Ronnie "One Arm" Trucchio. He and several other associates cut a deal with the feds after his conviction in Tampa, Fla., in 2005 on extortion and other charges.

Zuccaro, a trusted member of the late John Gotti's inner circle, provided a treasure trove of damning evidence - including information on the murder of court officer Albert Gelb, which was allegedly committed by hit man Charles Carneglia.

Thanks to Murray Weiss, Stephanie Cohen, Eric Lenkowitz

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

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Biggest New York Mafia Take Down in 20 Years Hits the Gambino Family

The FBI struck a decapitating blow today to the Gambino crime family, taking out its leaders and the last vestiges of late boss John Gotti, the Daily News has learned.

Up to 60 mobsters are expected to be charged on racketeering, murder and extortion charges, including acting boss John (Jackie Nose) D'Amico who was Dapper Don's longtime sidekick, underboss Dominic Cefalu and consigliere Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo, sources said.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News in 2005, D'Amico denied running the Gambino family. "I'm the boss of my house and my bathroom," he said.

Gotti's brother Vincent and his nephew Richard, will be charged today with the 2003 attempted murder of Howard Beach bagel shop owner Angelo Mugnolo.

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell, FBI officials and representatives from the Italian National Police are scheduled to discuss the largest Mafia takedown in more than two decades, at a press conference later this morning.

Another Gotti crony, Charles Carneglia is facing charges for the murders of an armored car driver during a robbery, the 1976 murder of a court officer and the 1990 rubout of gangster Louis DiBono.

Nicholas (Little Nick) Corozzo, a reputed capo believed to be the heir apparent to run the family, will be charged with a 1996 double murder in Brooklyn in which one of the victims was a bystander.

Officials are also expected to discuss the arrests of dozens of Mafioso members in Sicily in coordination with today's raids. The Sicilian wiseguys have ties to the Gambino crime family through reputed New York soldier Franki Cali, sources said.

During the lengthy investigation, the FBI learned that disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy was betting on basketball games with bookies. Donaghy pleaded guilty last summer and is cooperating with authorities.

Thanks to John Marzulli

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