The Chicago Syndicate: Edward Lato
Showing posts with label Edward Lato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edward Lato. Show all posts

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Where's Robert P. “Bobby” DeLuca Sr.

Where’s Bobby?

That’s the question that has been on the minds of mobsters, law-enforcement officials and followers of organized crime since four mobsters and mob associates were indicted last week on federal racketeering and extortion charges for shaking down several strip clubs and collecting $25,000 from a woman they threatened at work. But the indictment makes no mention of Robert P. “Bobby” DeLuca Sr., a major player in the New England La Cosa Nostra for more than three decades.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors noted that “made members” of the mob have cooperated with them in their investigation, and they have and will continue to rely on them in the prosecution of Edward C. Lato and Alfred “Chippy” Scivola Jr., made members of the New England mob, along with mob associates Raymond “Scarface” Jenkins and Albino “Albie” Folcarelli.

“During the course of this investigation, the FBI has developed additional witnesses, including formally initiated or made members of the New England La Cosa Nostra, who will testify that the [mob] exists, and will further testify about the activities of its members,” the papers say.

The prosecutors, William Ferland and Sam Nazzaro, also wrote that “these witnesses” will testify about the secret mob initiation ceremony in which the “made men” take a blood oath of loyalty to omerta, otherwise known as La Cosa Nostra’s code of silence. Part of the oath requires the mobsters to engage in acts of violence, including murder, when called upon by ranking members of the criminal enterprise.

DeLuca is an expert on mob initiations. In 1989, he was one of several mobsters, including then-mob boss Raymond J. “Junior” Patriarca, whom the FBI captured on tape during an induction ceremony in a house outside of Boston. DeLuca was one of the mobsters who, that day, became a “made man,” or full-fledged member of La Cosa Nostra.

The recording was the first time the FBI had ever recorded a mob induction, and it has been played at countless mob trials to show that the Mafia does indeed exist.

DeLuca’s star rose quickly in the mob. Once a small-time hood, the now-inducted wiseguy hitched his wagon to Boston-based mob boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme. But the high times were short-lived. In 1996, DeLuca was sentenced to 10½ years in federal prison for his role in the shakedown of Paulie Calenda, a Cranston businessman and mob associate.

The jury was convinced at the colorful trial, featuring sobbing strippers, mob informants and gangland thugs, that Gerard T. Ouimette, a feared mob enforcer, threatened Calenda for a $125,000 extortion payment. The panel also concluded that Ouimette was acting under orders from DeLuca.

The court papers filed last week do not identify the cooperating mob witnesses in the recent sweep, but they have fueled plenty of speculation that DeLuca has switched allegiances and is now working for his longtime nemesis: the Justice Department.

It’s ironic that some believe DeLuca is now a government informant, an accusation he cast about 10 years ago against fellow mobster Anthony M. “The Saint” St. Laurent Sr.

The indignity of being called a turncoat so infuriated St. Laurent that he solicited a Taunton, Mass., man to kill DeLuca. St. Laurent, 70, who is in a wheelchair and has been seriously ill for more than a decade, was charged and convicted of orchestrating the murder-for-hire scheme. He was just sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

At a recent news conference announcing the indictment and arrests, Peter F. Neronha, the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, refused to identify DeLuca or anyone else as witnesses for the government. Instead, he said, that he would only discuss what was in the indictment.

Jim Martin, Neronha’s spokesman, issued a standard “no comment” to a series of questions about DeLuca.

Is DeLuca cooperating in the federal investigation? Has he joined the federal witness protection program? Are the federal authorities concerned about the safety of the mobster, his wife and two small children?

“No comment,” he said.

The same questions were posed to state police Supt. Steven G. O’Donnell, a longtime mob investigator who has tracked DeLuca’s criminal activities for more than 20 years.

“I can’t tell you if he’s cooperating or not,” he said. “I have no concerns for Bobby’s safety or anybody’s safety” who chooses a life of organized crime. “That’s the world they live in.”

In North Providence, there is no sign of DeLuca, his wife, Gina, a former hairdresser, or their two young children. At first, nobody thought much about not seeing him around. Each summer, he would travel to Saratoga Springs in August for the annual horse races, but this summer he never returned to his old haunts.

In June 2009, Gina DeLuca bought the large, 4,746-square-foot colonial-style house for $340,000 from Christina Schadone, wife of Rep. Gregory J. Schadone, D-North Providence. On Aug. 1, less than two months ago, the house next to Greystone Elementary School, was placed on the market for $335,000.

The furniture has been cleared out and little more remains than steel-brushed appliances and a chandelier in the front foyer.

Paul M. Martellini, the acting police chief in North Providence, said he knew that the mobster lived at the address, but his department has received no reports of foul play involving the DeLucas. He checked the department records and said that police responded to the house on the morning of July 1 for a false alarm. At the time, he said, the family was living there.

“We have had no contact with him other than the alarm,” Martellini said. “We didn’t know that he hasn’t been around.”

After DeLuca wrapped up his federal prison sentence, he returned to Rhode Island and spent a few years in the state prison system.

Over the past six years, DeLuca, now 66, has worked at the SideBar & Grill, a small restaurant and nightclub at the corner of Dorrance and Pine streets. The establishment’s owner is lawyer Artin H. Coloian, once a top aide to ex-Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr.

Coloian hired DeLuca back in 2006 when he was in a work-release program at the Adult Correctional Institutions. He remained a fixture at the restaurant after he completed his prison sentence. He was often seen hanging out with Coloian or puffing a cigar as the two strolled down Dorrance Street.

Coloian, who has defended DeLuca in the past, insisted that his client is not cooperating with the federal authorities, but he refused to say whether he’s still employed at his restaurant.

“I’m not obligated to tell you who my employees are or are not,” he said, adding that he would not disclose the last time he saw the mobster.

Thanks to W. Zachary Malinowski

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Providence Strip Clubs Reputedly Pay $2 Million to New England Mafia

Federal prosecutors yesterday charged three alleged members of the New England Mafia and three associates with extorting money from Rhode Island’s adult entertainment industry since the 1980s, a racketeering scheme that netted its members some $2 million.

In a seven-count indictment unsealed in Providence today, federal authorities also indicate that the leadership of the Mafia in New England has shifted back to Boston after being under the control of Providence-based mobsters for the past several years.

In one portion of the 22-page document, alleged Mafia capo Edward (Eddie) Lato is quoted as saying that every time he meets with an unidentified Mafia figure in Boston, it is clear that the man is under surveillance by law enforcement.

“Every time I leave, there’s someone looking at me…there’s a guy on the corner every (expletive) time,’’ the 64-year-old Lato said, according to the indictment. “They’re following him…I mean…not that they’re not suppose (sic) to follow him, he’s the (expletive) boss.’’

Rhode Island US Attorney Peter Neronha said in a telephone interview yesterday that he would not identify the current leaders of the New England La Cosa Nostra. “The government views this is as a major step forward in eradicating the NELCN,’’ Neronha said of the Rhode Island crackdown in a telephone interview. “There is no question when charges are brought against seven individuals that are among the leaders of the NELCN – that’s a significant step.’’

In the indictment, prosecutors said that Rhode Island mobster Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio, who is 84 years old, was the leader of the New England Mafia until he stepped down in 2009.

Last year, Carmen (The Cheese Man) DiNunzio, who led the Boston Mafia, was imprisoned after he pleaded guilty to delivering a $10,000 bribe to an undercover FBI agent. DiNunzio operated a cheese store in Boston’s North End on Endicott Street.

Lato, according to the new charges against him, allegedly met with a “high ranking’’ Mafia member on May 5, 2011, at the intersection of Endicott and Thatcher streets in Boston. The FBI searched the Boston Mafia associate after the meeting ended and seized $5,000 in cash.

According to the document, Lato told an associate a week later that the $5,000 included money he had extorted from Rhode Island nightclubs.

No one from Massachusetts was named in yesterday’s indictment.

In addition to the charges against Lato, also indicted yesterday was Manocchio, and alleged Mafia member 70-year-old Alfred (Chippy) Scivola, who has already pleaded guilty to earlier racketeering charges.

Manocchio is accused of masterminding the scheme that relied on the threat of force to extort as much as $6,000 a month from each club, payments made by the owners for years, authorities allege. The clubs were identified in court papers as the Satin Doll, the Cadillac Lounge and the Foxy Lady.

Manocchio’s illegal control over the Cadillac Lounge included forcing the owners to hire his hand-picked allies to manage the books or to work as bouncers, authorities allege.

Also charged were alleged Mafia associates Thomas (Tommy) Iafrate, Richard Bonafiglia, Theodore (Teddy) Cardillo and 47-year-old Raymond (Scarface) Jenkins.

Lato is charged with racketeering conspiracy, two counts of extortion conspiracy and two counts of travel in aid of racketeering. Scivola is charged with racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy. Jenkins is charged with extortion conspiracy and extortion.

A seventh man, alleged Mob associate 53-year-old Albino (Albi) Folcarelli, allegedly joined Jenkins and Lato in a separate conspiracy to extort $25,000 in cash from a man known only as “Person A.’’

All seven are in federal custody.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Department of Justice said the prosecution in Rhode Island, and the prosecution of organized crime figures around the country, offer a clear sign that the federal government is on the move. “We are just not going away,’’ he said in a telephone interview.

The investigation was conducted by a task force composed of federal and state law enforcement agencies and the Providence police, officials said.

Thanks to John R. Ellement

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Made" Mob Members Dwindle in Ranks

The ranks of the traditional "La Cosa Nostra" have been dwindling here in Rhode Island over the years. So much so, the face of the modern mob bust, like we saw last week, is a diverse cross-section of society.

The "Operation Mobbed Up" sweep netted two dozen people and crushed an alleged criminal syndicate run out of the Valley Street Flea Market. Among those arrested were several with ties to the Patriarca Crime Family.

In organized crime's heyday in Rhode Island, when Raymond L.S. Patriarca ran the show, investigators kept tabs on at least 22 "made" members of the New England crime family.

Rhode Island State Police Col. Brendan Doherty, a veteran mob investigator, tells Target 12 that right now, "There are about eight or nine people we allege are inducted members." Of those, some are what he calls "retired."

In fact, in the "Mobbed Up" bust from November 17, not a single defendant is a member of the Patriarca crime family. State Police say several -- including infamous mob muscleman, Gerald Tillinghast, and aging, wheelchair-bound Nicholas "Nicky" Pari -- are mob associates.

"The fact that a large group of associates was arrested and a made member was not arrested is not a reflection on the New England LCN," says Jeffrey Sallet, a supervisory special agent with the FBI's Organized Crime Unit in New England. He told Target 12 the LCN -- La Cosa Nostra, "our thing" -- has not "made" a lot of people, and many are mere associates.

The boss of a crime family approves letting in new members. Law enforcement sources tell Target 12 the head of the New England crime family is 80-year-old Luigi "Babyshanks" Manocchio. Sources say Manocchio keeps his inner circle small. Those men who've been identified by law enforcement sources as capo regime under Manocchio include:

* Robert "Bobby" Deluca, whom sources say is keeping a low profile after serving ten years on gambling charges. His parole is set to expire in 2009.
* Edward Lato, who recently escaped gambling charges after a State Police sting in 2006. Lato was released from federal prison earlier this year after a probation violation.
* Joseph Achille, who two years ago served a year at the ACI on a conspiracy charge.

Two longtime reputed mobsters are currently in prison: Capo regime Matthew "Matty" Gugliemetti -- serving time at Ft. Dix for drug violations -- and the infamous 67-year-old mobster, Anthony "The Saint" St. Laurent. He is serving five years for an attempted shakedown of two men over gambling debts.

So far the inner circle has come up clean in this latest round of organized crime-related busts. Col. Doherty says it may just be a new face to old crimes: "It's not quite as organized anymore. We have a lot of renegade factions out there."

Sallet tells Target 12 New England has the distinction of having the only crime family in the country with an active boss still on the street and not behind bars.

Thanks to Target 12

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