The Chicago Syndicate: Ronald Trucchio
Showing posts with label Ronald Trucchio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ronald Trucchio. Show all posts

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bond Denied for Reputed Tampa Gambino James Cadicamo

A man the government says directed a Gambino crew that muscled into Tampa is emerging as a key figure in the case against a Tampa man accused of being part of the notorious organized crime family. After hearing arguments, a federal judge denied bail today for James V. Cadicamo, who was arrested in August along with four other men charged with participating in a vast racketeering conspiracy under the umbrella of the Gambino crime family. At the same time, John A. "Junior" Gotti was named in a separate, similar indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Tampa.

Cadicamo's defense attorney, Ronald K. Cacciatore, said a key witness against his client will be John Alite, who is awaiting trial on similar charges. Alite was part of a case that went to trial in 2005 against Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio and three others. But Alite was in prison in Brazil after fleeing to Latin America.

Cacciatore and a federal prosecutor agree that John Alite was a dangerous criminal when he was on the streets, but they differ on Cadicamo's relationship with Alite.

Prosecutors described Alite as a crime crew leader who answered to Trucchio and was friends with Gotti.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Trezevant said Alite was thinking about cooperating with the government when he fled the country in 2003 after hearing threats against his life. Trezevant said Cadicamo was in frequent contact with Alite as he traveled in Cuba, South America, Greece and Africa. After he was arrested, Alite called Cadicamo from a prison in Brazil.

Cacciatore said in court papers that Alite extorted and threatened Cadicamo. A witness says Alite said he was going to hurt Cadicamo before Alite went to jail, Cacciatore said. He told the same witness he was going to persuade another witness to turn on Cadicamo and hurt him, Cacciatore said.

"I've counted at least 15 people who Mr. Alite has threatened," Cacciatore said. "Prior to Mr. Alite's arrest, … he threatened a lawyer in New York, threatened to whack him."

Cadicamo, on the other hand, has never been convicted of a violent felony and is "not going to harm anybody," Cacciatore said. "He's not going anyplace" if he is freed on bail.

Trezevant described Cadicamo as a dangerous person who committed crimes while he was on probation. He associated with members of a crew in New York that was called the "Young Guns," Trezevant said, and made plans to harm a federal witness.

Trezevant played a portion of a recorded conversation between Cadicamo and his father, Victor, after Cadicamo was arrested. Cadicamo can be heard telling his father to get rid of items. Trezevant suggested this involved evidence Cadicamo didn't want authorities to find.

"I want you to go in my closet downstairs," Cadicamo says at one point.

"I took care of it already," his father responds.

Asked about the recording after the hearing, Victor Cadicamo said his son was talking about watches he didn't want anyone to steal.

Thanks to Elaine Silvestrini

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Junior Gotti Awakens Mob Ghosts in Tampa

The ghosts of Tampa's old-time wiseguys awakened this summer when Mafia scion John "Junior" Gotti came to town in handcuffs, accused of pulling the strings in a bunch of classic mobster crimes.

The federal indictment against him reads like a plot summary for "The Sopranos." The 44-year-old Gotti — son of the late "Dapper Don" of the notorious Gambino crime family — allegedly had his fingers in everything: whacking rivals, trafficking cocaine, bribery, kidnapping and money-laundering. Earlier convictions show Gambino crews have worked for years to get a foothold in the Tampa area's criminal underworld.

If the charges against Gotti are true, then he was a Johnny-come-lately to organized crime around here.

The fabric of the Tampa region's history is richly woven with stories of ruthless gangsters who first grabbed control of illegal gambling and liquor distribution during Prohibition, executed rivals with point-blank shotgun blasts, bribed public officials, controlled the narcotics trade and eventually broadened their influence across the Sunshine State and pre-Castro Cuba.

They were menacing, old-school mobsters who went by nicknames like "The Hammer," "Scarface," "Cowboy," "The Fat Man," "The Colonel," "Big Joe" and "Silent Sam."

Infamous in the city's lore is the "Era of Blood," when 25 gangsters were gunned down on the streets as Italian, Cuban and Anglo underworld factions battled for power from the 1920s to the '50s. And a Godfather-like legend surrounds Tampa-born crime boss Santo Trafficante Jr., who took over the Sicilian Mafia in Florida from his father in 1954 and built a criminal empire that was the envy of mob families across the country.

"Trafficante was the boss of Florida," says Joseph D. Pistone, a former FBI agent whose six years undercover with the mob were chronicled in the 1997 Johnny Depp movie "Donnie Brasco." "Miami was an open city, like Las Vegas. But if you operated in Tampa or other parts of the state, you had to go through Trafficante."

During his last two years with Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano's Bonanno family crew, Pistone came to Florida often to help broker an alliance with Trafficante, whose blessing was needed for the Brooklyn crew to operate an illegal gambling joint northwest of Tampa. The eventual FBI takedown of the Kings Court club in 1981 is depicted in "Donnie Brasco."

In another movie, "Goodfellas" (1990), New York gangsters played by Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro come to Tampa in 1970 and put the screws to a guy who won't pay his gambling debts. He finally agrees to pay up after they take him to the city zoo and threaten to feed him to the lions.

That all really happened — except for the lion part. Lucchese family soldiers Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke just gave the welcher an old-fashioned beating, ending up at a dingy north Tampa bar that still stands across the street from the Busch Gardens amusement park. But it's true that the beaten bettor had a sister who worked in the Tampa FBI office, which led to arrests and prison terms for the two wiseguys.

That's trivia that few but Scott Deitche remember. He literally wrote the book on Tampa's organized crime history — called "Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld" — and followed it up last year with a Trafficante biography.

Miami might be more associated with mob activity, but Deitche says organized crime in Florida is firmly rooted in Tampa, where Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigrants established communities in the city's cigar-making center of Ybor City in the early 20th century. One of the early rackets was bolita, a popular, low-stakes lottery game.

"You had drugs, prostitution, rum-running, bootlegging during Prohibition, some alien smuggling, but bolita was the main moneymaker," says Deitche over lunch recently at Ybor City's historic Columbia restaurant — a favorite dining spot of Trafficante and a host of mobsters over the years.

"Through bolita you got into corruption of the local government, corruption of the sheriff's department," he says. "So from there you really saw the emergence of the Italian Mafia, and the Italian Mafia eventually eclipsed all the other ones."

Howard Abadinsky, an organized-crime expert who teaches a class on the subject at St. John's University, says the growth of organized crime in Florida mirrored what was happening in society at-large. There was opportunity and money to be made in Florida, attracting not only aboveboard entrepreneurs but mobsters from the five New York Mafia families as well. Many bought houses and lived here for part of the year.

"The mob moved to Florida just like legitimate people," Abadinsky says. "There was plenty of money for everyone."

But it was the soft-spoken, even-tempered Trafficante — known as the "Silent Don" — who put the mob on the map in Florida. He also became the most influential Mafia figure in Cuba, running hotels and casinos, buying up property and laundering money through the island before Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 and kicked him out.

Trafficante, in public hearings, acknowledged cooperating with secret U.S. government efforts to kill Castro. And his name is often mentioned in a conspiracy theory surrounding President John F. Kennedy's assassination, but he vehemently denied having anything to do with it. He never spent a night in an American jail.

Trafficante's death after heart surgery in 1987 ended the Mafia's heyday in Florida, but the experts say it hasn't been snuffed out. A 2006 federal trial in Tampa exposed the activities of a Gambino crew led by capo Ronald Trucchio, who because of a deformed limb was known by the nickname "Ronnie One-Arm."

His crew was accused of a slew of wiseguy crimes, including trying to control the lucrative valet parking business in Tampa. He and three other Gambino associates were convicted of racketeering and conspiracy to commit extortion, with Trucchio getting life in prison.

Now comes Junior Gotti, who was arrested at his Long Island home in August and hauled to Tampa. His attorney scoffs at the charges, saying the feds have mounted an "epic quest" to take Gotti down after failing to convict him in three federal trials in New York. Gotti says he retired years ago from the criminal life and has pleaded not guilty to the Tampa charges. He remains jailed without bond pending a trial, which could happen sometime next year.

Abadinsky says the mob is still around, in Florida, New York and elsewhere, but it's a shadow of its former self. Gangsters today don't wield the power, control the unions or have the political connections of their predecessors.

While the "The Sopranos," the wildly popular HBO TV series about a New Jersey mob family, was a great recruiting tool for the Mafia, there are fewer young men willing to take up the life these days, Abadinsky says.

"The new guys," he says, "are whole lot less interesting."

Thanks to Mitch Stacy

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Entire John "Junior" Gotti Tampa Gambino Crime Family Indictment

United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill and Steven E. Ibison, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), announced the unsealing of two related indictments charging six men with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") statute, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), and charging two of the six men with other crimes. The first case charges John A. Gotti, also known as “John, Jr.,” and “Junior,” a 44 year old resident of Oyster Bay, New York, with RICO conspiracy, and specifically alleges possession of, and trafficking in, more than five kilograms of cocaine, as well as the murders of three men: George Grosso (murdered December 20, 1988 in Queens, New York); Louis DiBono (murdered October 4, 1990 in the parking garage of the former World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York); and Bruce John Gotterup (murdered November 20, 1991 at the Boardwalk at the Rockaways in Queens, New York). GOTTI faces life imprisonment if convicted.

The second case includes four counts. Count One charges John A. Burke, a 47 year old New York state correctional facility inmate, James V. Cadicamo, a 33 year old resident of Tampa, Florida, David D'Arpino, a 33 year old resident of Howard Beach, New York, Michael D. Finnerty, a 43 year old resident of Oceanside, New York, and Guy T. Peden, a 47 year old resident of Wantagh, New York, with RICO conspiracy, and specifically alleges that: (1) BURKE and PEDEN possessed, and trafficked in, more than five kilograms of cocaine; (2) BURKE and PEDEN also participated in the murder of Bruce John Gotterup; and (3) BURKE and D'ARPINO participated in the murder of a man named John Gebert (murdered July 12, 1996 in the Woodhaven section of Queens, New York). Count Two charges D'ARPINO with murder in aid of a racketeering activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), relating to the murder of John Gebert. Count Three charges CADICAMO with conspiracy to kill and/or beat a man named Michael Malone to prevent MALONE from providing information to a federal law enforcement officer and from testifying as a witness in Case No. 8:04-cr-348-T-24TGW, a RICO conspiracy case tried in Tampa, Florida before U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew in the fall of 2006. Count Four further charges CADICAMO with conspiracy to retaliate against MALONE for his cooperation in the government's ongoing RICO investigations and for testifying in the 2006 RICO conspiracy trial in Tampa.

If convicted of the RICO conspiracy charge, BURKE, CADICAMO, D'ARPINO, FINNERTY, and PEDEN each face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If convicted of Count Two, the murder in aid of racketeering charge, D'ARPINO faces an additional sentence of life imprisonment or death. If convicted of Counts Three and Four, CADICAMO faces additional prison sentences of up to 30 years and 20 years, respectively.

The GOTTI Case

According to the RICO conspiracy charge against GOTTI, from in or about 1983 and continuing through July 24, 2008, GOTTI and other members and associates of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Gambino Crime Family”) constituted an enterprise (the “GCF Enterprise”) which engaged in an array of criminal conduct including murder, robbery, bribery, kidnaping, extortion, gambling, illegal drug trafficking, loansharking, collecting unlawful debts, jury tampering, victim and witness tampering, burglary, home invasions, aggravated assaults and batteries, and money laundering. The indictment specifies that GOTTI, the son of former and deceased Gambino Crime Family boss, John J. Gotti, occupied various roles in the GCF Enterprise during the period charged, including associate, soldier, captain, and de facto boss of the Gambino Crime Family, and served as a member of the committee of captains formed in the early 1990's to assist in the administration of the Gambino Crime Family.

The indictment further charges that GCF Enterprise members engaged in public acts and displays of violence – shootings, stabbings, baseball bat beatings, and murder – designed to create and maintain fear and dread in others so that the GCF Enterprise could defend and expand its unlawful dominion and influence in certain geographical areas and over certain:
  • (i) legal businesses, such as the business of operating restaurants, the business of operating bars/pubs, the business of providing bar security, and the business of providing valet parking services;
  • (ii) legal industries, such as the construction and trucking industries;
  • (iii) unions’ locals, and
  • (iv) illegal businesses, such as the business of illegally dealing in controlled substances, the business of illegal gambling, and the business of collection of unlawful debts.

Also per the indictment, GCF Enterprise members worked to establish and maintain GCF
Enterprise footholds, or operational bases, in various parts of the United States of America, specifically including the city of Tampa, Florida, in the Middle District of Florida.

The Special Sentencing Allegations section of the RICO conspiracy charge specifies some of the more egregious criminal activity alleged against GOTTI, including possession and trafficking in more than five kilograms of cocaine, and the murders of George Grosso, Louis DiBono, and Bruce John Gotterup. GOTTI is the first person charged for the murder of George Grosso, which was previously listed as an unsolved homicide and was investigated with the assistance of the NYPD Cold Case Squad.

The Criminal Enterprise Case

According to Count One of the indictment charging BURKE, CADICAMO, D'ARPINO, FINNERTY, and PEDEN with RICO conspiracy, from in or about 1983 and continuing through July 31, 2008, the five men, along with MALONE, and Pasquale J. Andriano, and others, constituted an enterprise (the "Criminal Enterprise") which engaged in an array of criminal conduct including murder, robbery, bribery, kidnaping, extortion, gambling, illegal drug trafficking, loansharking, collecting unlawful debts, jury tampering, victim and witness tampering, burglary, home invasions, aggravated assaults and batteries, and money laundering.

The indictment alleges that the Criminal Enterprise operated at times under the influence and control of the Gambino Crime Family and was directed by John E. Alite, who shared the resulting criminal proceeds with members of the Gambino Crime Family, including John A. Gotti, Charles Carneglia, and Ronald J. Trucchio. MALONE, ANDRIANO, TRUCCHIO, and ALITE were all charged in 2004 as defendants in Case No. 8:04-cr-348-T-24TGW, a RICO conspiracy case charged and tried in Tampa in the fall of 2006. ANDRIANO pleaded guilty prior to trial, as did MALONE, who later testified at trial and admitted his role in the RICO conspiracy and testified as to the details of the 1996 murder of John Gebert in Queens, New York. TRUCCHIO was convicted at the fall 2006 Tampa trial and sentenced to life imprisonment. Also charged and convicted in the case were Steven Catalano, Kevin M. McMahon, and Terry L. Scaglione. CATALANO and SCAGLIONE have since been sentenced to prison terms of 192 months and 57 months, respectively. ALITE, who was apprehended in Brazil in November 2004, was extradited to the United States in December 2006. ALITE's case remains before U.S. District Judge Bucklew, as do the cases concerning MALONE and MCMAHON.

It was revealed through testimony and evidence during the 2006 Tampa trial that ALITE was, at one time, a powerful associate of the Gambino Crime Family and had, at various times, an ownership or management interest in a number of valet parking service businesses operating in and around the Tampa Bay area, including Prestige Valet, Inc.

Club Mirage in Tampa.The current indictment also charges that Criminal Enterprise members invested some of their criminal income for the acquisition of interests in other businesses, or "Investment Enterprises," including window/glass businesses, valet parking service businesses, and bars\clubs, such as “Club Mirage,” a nightclub business located at 3605 West Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.

The Special Sentencing Allegations section of the RICO conspiracy charge specifically alleges that BURKE and PEDEN possessed and trafficked in more than five kilograms of cocaine, that both men also participated in the murder of Bruce John Gotterup, and that BURKE and D'ARPINO participated in the murder of John Gebert. Count Two of the indictment charges D'ARPINO separately for his role in the murder of John Gebert. Count Three charges CADICAMO with conspiracy to kill and/or beat MALONE to prevent MALONE from providing information to a federal law enforcement officer and from testifying as a witness in the 2006 Tampa trial. Count Four further charges CADICAMO with conspiracy to retaliate against MALONE for his cooperation in the government's ongoing RICO investigations and for testifying.

The indictments are the latest results of a lengthy ongoing investigation coordinated by the Tampa and New York FBI Divisions, specifically the Clearwater, Florida, and the Brooklyn Queens Metropolitan FBI offices, and included the Miami and Philadelphia FBI offices, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Tampa Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI Legal Attache! to Brazil, the Brazilian federal police, and Interpol. The two cases were investigated by and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Junior Gotti is not the Only Tampa Connection to Mafia Activity

Tampa again finds itself in the center of the latest chapter of mob intrigue.

Reported organized crime boss John Gotti Jr. was arrested in New York on Tuesday, and will be arraigned in Tampa on murder conspiracy charges stemming from an investigation that began in the Bay area.

As mob towns go <a href=Tampa is no New York, Chicago or even Philadelphia. But over the years Tampa has found itself with at least a tenuous connection to the latest news from the organized crime world.

Consider:

In the 1940s, Sicilian immigrant Santo Trafficante Sr., a known member of the Mafia, took over organized crime in Tampa. The Tampa mob ran gambling, loansharking operations, drug trafficking, stolen property rings, strip clubs, fraud and political corruption, according to Scott Deitche, author of the book, "Cigar City Mafia."

When Trafficante Jr. took over, the man authorities called Florida's "boss of bosses" testified in front of a 1978 U.S. House panel that he was involved in a plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro. He denied knowledge of any mob plot to kill President Kennedy.

In 2006, four alleged members of the Gambino crime family went to trial in U.S. District Court in Tampa on charges of racketeering and extortion. Authorities said the group, led by Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio, committed robbery, extortion and murder from New York to Miami. They reportedly ran valet parking businesses at restaurants, hospitals and strip clubs. In 2007, Trucchio was sentenced to spend life behind bars.

The city's sometimes unseemly criminal landscape has wooed Hollywood filmmakers as well.

The 1990 crime classic "Goodfellas" featured a scene at Lowry Park Zoo in which Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, and James Burke, played by Robert De Niro, terrorized a local bar owner who refused to pay a gambling debt by dangling him over the lion cage. The "Goodfellas" depiction is pretty close to the real thing, according to Deitche.

Apparently, the owner of Char-Pal Lounge at 3711 E. Busch Blvd. asked Hill and Burke to come to Tampa to persuade Gaspar Ciaccio to pay his $13,000 debt, Deitche said. They dined at the Columbia Restaurant before tracking down Ciaccio.

Hill and Burke apparently beat up Ciaccio in the back room of the Char-Pal and then threatened him at the lion cage at Busch Gardens, said Nicholas Pileggi, who adapted his book "Wiseguy" into the screenplay for "Goodfellas."

"It all really happened," said Pileggi, who came to Tampa to take pictures of the area and interview people for his book.

The reason organized crime appeared to flourish in Tampa seems as varied as the experts who have studied it.

Pileggi said Tampa's organized crime spun off from Prohibition days in the 1920s and '30s.

Many of Florida's elected leaders and law enforcement officers either didn't enforce the laws or were in cahoots with bootleggers, Pileggi said. "There was an infrastructure of corruption," he said.

Deitche focuses on the large influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants.

Mob bosses in New York and Chicago generally didn't speak Spanish, so the Trafficantes leveraged their links with Cuba and Latin America to dominate organized crime in Florida for more than three decades, he said.

Authorities credit the Trafficante family with creating a mob language known as "Tampan," a hybrid of Italian and Spanish created to confuse police.

Howard Abadinsky, an organized crime expert and professor of criminal justice and legal studies at St. John's University, said the reason the mob moved into Tampa and South Florida had more to do with the shifting economy. The mob bosses followed the money, he said.

They saw thousands of retirees from the East Coast and rustbelt states flee to sunny Florida for the winter, bringing their money and spare time.

Tampa's growing population would have been irresistible for organized crime families with ties to garbage hauling unions, shipping interests, gambling, bars, strip clubs and other ventures. "They are always on the prowl for opportunity," he said.

Deitche, Abadinsky and others agree on thing: High-profile, organized criminal activity has been on the decline for decades. Criminal investigations are credited with part of the decline. But mostly, the old-time mob bosses have died off.

Trafficante Jr. died March 17, 1987, after heart surgery in Houston.

"Since then, it's sort of subsided," said Bill Iler, who worked for the Tampa Police Department from 1966 to 1986, much of it investigating organized crime. "All the old guys hooked up with the Mafia are about dead now."

Thanks to Baird Helgeson

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 10, 2008

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

Bada-brrrrring.
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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

Monday, March 05, 2007

Gambino Mafia Crew Leader Gets Life

Friends of ours: Ronald J. Trucchio, Steven Catalano

A man authorities said was the leader of a Gambino crime-family crew was sentenced to life in prison Friday.

Ronald J. Trucchio was sentenced in federal court after a member of his crew, Steven Catalano, received a 16-year prison sentence. Both were convicted in November of conspiracy and racketeering.

Prosecutors said Trucchio formed a crew in Queens, N.Y., in the 1980s that reported to the Gambino crime family. They said the group committed a string of crimes -- including murder, robbery and extortion -- from New York to Miami.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Four Gambinos Convicted in Tampa

Friends of ours: Gambino Crime Family, Ronald "Ronnie One-Arm" Trucchio, Steven Catalano, Kevin McMahon, Terry Scaglione

A federal jury in Tampa has found four men guilty of various crimes related to the Gambino Mafia family.

Ronald J. Trucchio (Ronnie One-Arm), Steven Catalano, Kevin M. McMahon, and Terry L. Scaglione were found guilty of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") statute.

The jury also found Scaglione guilty of one count of extortion. Trucchio and Catalano each face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. McMahon and Scaglione each face a maximum sentence of twenty years' imprisonment.

Trucchio, Catalano, and McMahon are now in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Scaglione remains free on bond pending his sentencing hearing.

Sentencing hearings for all four defendants have been set for March 2, 2007.

The US Attorney's Office says during the last 20 years, Catalano, McMahon, Scaglione, Trucchio were under the control of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra in Tampa. The Gambino Crime Family is one "family" in a nationwide criminal organization commonly referred to as "La Cosa Nostra," or the "Mafia."

Federal officials say Trucchio was a captain in Family and he supervised the wide-ranging criminal activities of the crew. The crew's principal purpose was to generate money for its members and associates through the commission of various criminal acts.

The jury felt Trucchio supervised the crew that engaged in multiple acts and threats involving murder, robbery, extortion, dealing in controlled substances, interference with commerce by threats and violence, interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprises, making extortionate extensions of credit, collection of extensions of credit by extortionate means, and interstate transportation of stolen property.

The Pinellas Resident Agency of the Tampa Field Office of the FBI, the Miami and Brooklyn-Queens Metropolitan FBI offices, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the Tampa Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Queens County District Attorney's Office, the FBI Legal Attache to Brazil, the Brazilian federal police, and Interpol coordinated this investigation.

Thanks to WTSP

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