The Chicago Syndicate: Michael Coppola
Showing posts with label Michael Coppola. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Coppola. Show all posts

Saturday, January 02, 2010

La Cosa Nostra Associates Plead Guilty in New York

Federal law enforcement officials in New York City ended 2009 by taking a big bite out of organized crime in two separate cases: one involving Gambino Crime Family associates, the other involving a captain with the Genevese Crime Family. There are five families running La Cosa Nostra ('our thing") organized crime in New York.

Two associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family, Letterio DeCarlo and Thomas Dono, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court to participating in a conspiracy that resulted in the murder Frank Hydell on April 28, 1998. The defendants also admitted to their participation in a conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business in the late 1990s, according to documents examined by the National Association of Chiefs of Police's Organized Crime Committee.

According to the Indictment, other court filings, and statements made during today's guilty plea proceeding before United States District Judge Colleen McMahom: One of the goals of the Gambino Organized Crime Family was to protect its members and associates from detection and prosecution by law enforcement, by intimidating and seeking reprisal against individuals who provided testimony or other information to law enforcement. As associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family, the defendants committed various crimes, including murder, assault, robbery, burglary, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.

DeCarlo and Dono agreed with others to murder Hydell in order to maintain and increase their standing as associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family. Hydell was murdered to prevent him from providing information to law enforcement about ongoing criminal activities of the defendants and other Gambino Organized Crime Family members and associates, including the January 1997 beating and murder of Frank Parasole.

DeCarlo, 47, and Dono, 34, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Each count also carries a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on March 22, 2010, by Judge McMahon.

Co-defendant Edmund Boyle is scheduled to go to trial beginning on January 19, 2010, on related charges of racketeering conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering.

In a separate organized crime case, Michael Coppola, a captain in the Genovese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment by United States District Judge John Gleeson following his conviction by a jury on racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges.

The jury heard evidence of Coppola’s participation in a three-decade-long conspiracy to extort the leadership, and defraud the members, of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1235, a union that represents port workers in New Jersey.

The trial evidence established that Coppola and others in the Genovese family controlled a succession of presidents at the union since the 1970s and extorted substantial tribute payments to the detriment of union members. The evidence included wiretap intercepts of calls in 2005 between Coppola and the son of Local 1235’s then-president in which Coppola was informed that tribute payments to the Genovese family had recently “almost doubled.”

In 1996, after being served with an investigative summons to provide a DNA sample to the state of New Jersey in connection with a murder investigation, Coppola fled and remained a fugitive for the next 11 years, using identification in numerous assumed names and traveling between residences in California and New York. The FBI captured Coppola on March 9, 2007, when a team of agents spotted him walking on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Thanks to Jim Kouri

Monday, December 29, 2008

Racketeering Trial to Show Mob's Grip on Ports

Authorities say the case against suspected New Jersey hit man Michael Coppola, as laid out in documents filed this month in federal court in Brooklyn, is a look into how organized crime controls the ports of New Jersey and New York, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Two months ago, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn indicted Coppola, 62, on racketeering charges built around the corruption of the Newark arm of the International Longshoremen's Association, and a decades-old murder of a mobster in a Bridgewater motel parking lot.

Attorneys will argue in January whether that murder case should go forward.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"What're you going to do now, tough guy?"

A jailed reputed mobster was charged on Monday with the 1977 slaying of a gangland rival who used his last words to taunt him in a motel parking lot.

"What're you going to do now, tough guy?" Giovanni "Coca Cola" Larducci asked when Michael Coppola's gun jammed during the New Jersey confrontation on Easter 1977, prosecutors said.

Coppola has bragged to cooperators that he responded by pulling out another pistol from an ankle holster and shooting Larducci dead, prosecutors said.

The slaying was recounted in court papers alleging Coppola also infiltrated and shook down a labor union for the Genovese organized crime family.

Coppola pleaded not guilty on Monday in federal court in Brooklyn to murder, extortion and other charges.

Defense attorney Henry Mazurek said outside court that the evidence against Coppola is flimsy. His client, he said, was "more than optimistic about beating these charges."

Coppola, 62, was arrested last year after becoming one of New Jersey's most-wanted fugitives. He went underground in 1996 with the help of his wife to duck a court order requiring him to submit a DNA sample in the Larducci slaying.

Over the next 11 years, the couple used various aliases while splitting time between an apartment in Manhattan owned by a Genovese associate and a home in San Francisco, prosecutors said. Following Coppola's capture in New York, investigators said they discovered a book in his apartment titled "The Methods of Attacking Scientific Evidence
."

A DNA sample taken from Coppola last year was compared to that from hair found on a hat left at the motel parking lot. The FBI analysis found that "Coppola could not be excluded as the source of the hair," court papers said.

Coppola already was serving time after pleading guilty to charges related to his flight. If convicted of the new charges, he faces life in prison.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hoboken Genovese Gang Not Seen Much Any More

Friends of ours: Genovese Crime Family, Michael Coppola, Michael "Tona" Borelli, Peter Grecco, Peter Caporino, Tino R. Fiumara, Lawrence A. Ricci

The old gang isn't seen much around Hoboken any more, thanks to the recent efforts of the FBI to nab the city's most notorious mobsters.

The latest arrest: Michael Coppola, 60, a reputed captain in the Genovese crime family, who was arrested Friday in New York City and charged in the 1977 killing of a mobster in Bridgewater .

Coppola was one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, and he'd been featured on " America 's Most Wanted" several times. Investigators had searched for him in Nevada , Pennsylvania , Florida , Canada , Italy and Costa Rica .

In the 1970s and 1980s, Coppola could be seen in Hoboken social clubs meeting with the likes of Michael "Tona" Borelli, 69, of Fort Lee, a reputed made member of the Genovese crime family, Peter Grecco, 70, of Woodcliff Lake , and infamous mob rat Peter Caporino, 69, of Hasbrouck Heights , Hoboken police sources said yesterday.

Borelli and Grecco are facing prison time after a federal probe into gambling and other rackets in Hoboken and Jersey City . Caporino, who cooperated with the feds in that case to avoid jail time on a gambling charge in Hudson County , faces jail time himself, as authorities said he continued his criminal activities even after the feds told him to stop.

Caporino wore a wire for the FBI for years and made one recording of Borelli in the "Company K" social club on Jefferson Street , where Coppola used to hold court. When Genovese boss Tino R. Fiumara was in prison and Coppola was on the run, Borelli and Lawrence A. Ricci ran the Coppola/Fiumara crew, says a report 2004 by the New Jersey Investigation Commission. Ricci was found dead in a car trunk behind a Union County diner in December 2005.

With the help of Caporino, Borelli and Grecco pleaded guilty in April 2006 to operating an illegal gambling business. "The Fiumara/Coppola crew is one of the largest and most resourceful Genovese crews operating in New Jersey ," the state report says.

Coppola is accused of gunning down Johnny "Coca Cola" Lardiere outside the Red Bull Inn on Route 22 in Bridgewater in 1977.

Investigators believe Coppola drew a silenced .22-caliber pistol and pointed it at Lardiere - but the gun jammed. Lardiere then sneered at the hitman, "What're you gonna do now, tough guy?" Coppola then drew a second gun from an ankle holster and shot Lardiere five times, authorities said.

Nine years later, DNA evidence and an informant led the FBI to Coppola, but he disappeared.

Coppola has been listed at or near the top of the state Division of Criminal Justice's 13 most wanted fugitives since the list was drawn up five years ago.

Newhouse News Service contributed to this report.

Thanks to Michaelangelo Conte

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