Anthony DiNunzio, the brutal acting boss of New England’s Cosa Nostra mob, arrested

Anthony DiNunzio, 53, pleaded not guilty to multiple counts against him, including racketeering and conspiracy.
A wall of images of mobsters is displayed at The Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada. The museum, also known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, chronicles the history of organized crime in America and the efforts of law enforcement to combat it. (Ethan Miller/AFP/Getty Images)
Anthony DiNunzio, the acting boss of New England’s Cosa Nostra crime family, was arrested in Boston on Wednesday morning on charges including racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy, the New York Times reported.
DiNunzio, 53, allegedly became the leader of the mob in late 2009, and was the brutal overseer of the extortion of Rhode Island strip clubs to the tune of $2,000 to $6,000 payments per month, the New York Times reported.
At his court appearance in Providence, Rhode Island, DiNunzio's attorney Robert Sheketoff entered not guilty pleas on his behalf, the Associated Press reported. The mob leader was ordered held without bail until his hearing, which is scheduled for May 3, the Boston Globe reported.
“Organized crime likes to believe their reach is long,’’ US Attorney Peter F. Neronha said at a press conference after the hearing, according to the Globe. “Our reach is longer.’’
The indictment against DiNunzio describes him as a brutal leader of La Cosa Nostra's New England branch, readily threatening violence against those who did not take his orders, according to the AP.
"I get to watch you die in the ground...and I'll dig you back up and make sure (you're) dead," DiNunzio is quoted as telling a member of the Gambino crime family during a June 22 meeting last year at My Cousin Vinny's restaurant in Malden, Massachusetts, according to the AP.
The indictment was the first time authorities publicly identified DiNunzio as La Cosa Nostra's leader, the Times reported. His arrest makes him the ninth mob member to be charged in Rhode Island, according to the Times. Law enforcement efforts to stifle the mob presence in Rhode Island began two years ago, and preceded a national effort to arrest Mafia leaders in January 2011, the largest roundup of mob figures of its kind in history, the Boston Globe reported.
 “The Justice Department and its law enforcement partners are determined to put La Cosa Nostra out of business, and we won’t stop until we’ve done just that,’’ James M. Trusty, chief of the organized crime and gang unit for the Justice Department, told the Globe.
DiNunzio is the sixth consecutive boss or acting boss of La Cosa Nostra mafia to have criminal charges brought against him, according to the Boston Globe. All six were convicted.

 

Alleged acting mob boss charged


PROVIDENCE --

The acting New England Mafia boss was arrested at the Gemini strip club in Boston at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Anthony DiNunzio is charged with helping to run, and profit, from a strip club extortion ring in Rhode Island. He was ordered held.

The FBI, Rhode Island State Police and Providence police captured the essence of the Mafia on tape.

They taped DiNunzio of Boston, talking about the extortion of Rhode Island strip clubs, an extortion former boss Louie "Baby Shacks" Manocchio and other mobsters have already pleaded guilty to.

When DiNunzio finds out the feds had wiretapped a restaurant in Boston where mob meetings were held, DiNunzio said, "We met, me and two other guys, they had us on tape. I just found out yesterday, the whole place was wired no matter what table we sat at."

Mobster Eddie Lato laments about the feds following his boss, DiNunzio.

"They're following him. I mean, not that they're not supposed to follow him. He's the (expletive deleted) boss," Lato said.

"This superseding indictment is the latest in a step-by-step, block-by-block … to charge, prosecute and send to federal prison long-time members of, and in particular the leadership of, organized crime," said U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha.

The brutality of the mafia is apparent on FBI undercover tapes.

And when someone asks DiNunzio what would happen if other New England mob guys won't obey his orders, he's on FBI tape saying, "I'll bury you right in the (expletive deleted) ground. Puts all the dirt. You're alive. They stay there. I'll stay there (expletive deleted) ten hours until you're dead. And I'll dig you back up and make sure you're dead."

And authorities now know, the Gambino family of New York wants the illegal profits from adult entertainment extortion in Rhode Island.

According to the federal indictment, DiNunzio met in June with a member of the Gambino family of New York at My Cousin Vinny's restaurant in Malden, Mass. DiNunzio told the Gambino representative that the shakedown of Rhode Island strip clubs was still going on

Feds: Mob boss on LigambiCare plan


SAY WHAT you want about the Philadelphia Mafia, but they have a helluva health-care plan.

Mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, for example, had a gold-plated benefits package that came with his no-show position at Top Job Disposal, a South Philly trash company where he "performed no work or productive services," according to a superseding indictment unsealed Thursday.

LigambiCare also extended to his relatives, federal prosecutors say. Because what's the point of leading an organized-crime family if you can't spread the wealth around?
"They targeted solid waste a long, long time ago as a lucrative moneymaker for them," said Lee Seglem, assistant director of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, whose December report, "Industrious Subversion," detailed La Cosa Nostra's influence in the trash-hauling industry.

"They can use the proceeds they get from that to bankroll other criminal activities, or to launder money, or put people on the payroll who aren't working," Seglem said.

Like "Uncle Joe," who the feds say was in the waste-management business about as much as Tony Soprano was.

Already jailed on racketeering charges, Ligambi, 72, was hit with federal theft charges Thursday in connection with the alleged no-show job that New Jersey authorities say paid him $1,000 a week between 2003 and 2009.

Prosecutors say the Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity, which administered the health-care plan at Top Job, paid $224,424 to cover medical and dental benefits for Ligambi and his family.

"It's easy money," Seglem said.

But the alleged scam, combined with the prior charges, could end up keeping Ligambi behind bars for the rest of his life - like previous mob bosses John Stanfa and Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, who are both expected to die as federal inmates.

One count of racketeering conspiracy, for instance, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

On Thursday, reputed mobsters Joseph "Scoops" Licata and Louis "Big Lou" Fazzini, were arrested near Newark, N.J., and added to the sweeping racketeering indictment that now includes 14 defendants. Licata, 70, is the caporegime of the Philadelphia mob's North Jersey faction and supervised Fazzini, 45, in the operation of an illegal sports-gambling business, according to the indictment.

The feds will likely lean on Fazzini and Licata for information to strengthen their case against Ligambi, George Borgesi and other high-ranking Philly mobsters on charges that include loan-sharking, gambling and extortion.

Louis "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello, who allegedly ran Borgesi's gambling and loan-sharking operation in Delaware County, has already flipped and agreed to testify for the government.

The trial is scheduled to begin in September.






Former Colombo boss Thomas 'Tommy Shots' Gioeli refuses to leave cell to go to court


By MITCHEL MADDUX

Last Updated: 1:54 PM, April 25, 2012

On the day prosecutors in the Colombo mob trial were to deliver their final summations to the jury, former street boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli suddenly refused to leave his cell -- causing a delay in the wreap-up of the murder racketeering case.

"Mr. Gioeli has refused to proceed with the Marshals to the courthouse," defense attorney Adam Perlmutter told the judge this morning.

Also noticeably absent from court were Gioeli's family members who have been a constant fixture throughout the month-and-a-half long mob trial.

His attorneys were quick to blame Gioeli's absence from the Brooklyn federal court trial on the mobster's longstanding battle with a variety of medical ailments, but they declined publicly to specify the precise problem.

At the same time, Gioeli's defense team informed the judge that the wiseguy was displeased with the wording of the verdict form, which jurors will use to help formulate their decisions about the defendant's innocence or guilt.

"Mr. Gioeli is obviously upset with the verdict sheet," Perlmutter told Judge Brian Cogan.

The issue revolved around the mention of Gioeli's alleged involvement with certain so-called uncharged racketeering acts, including a bank robbery carried out years ago by his underlings in East Meadow, LI.

The verdict sheet mentions these incidents, which suggest that Gioeli may have participated in a conspiracy with other mobsters - even though he wasn't specifically charged with those crimes.

Gioeli reportedly was angry with his decision on Tuesday not to take the stand and testify in his own defense after learning that the jurors will read about these uncharged racketeering acts and made the decision last night to not appear in court today, a source told The Post.

The judge noted at today's hearing that he had decided to alter the wording of the verdict sheet solely for the sake of clarity, although the document still carries the same meaning as before.

"I have revised the verdict form, because I found it to be confusing," Cogan said.

The judge stressed that the alteration "doesn't change the substance" of charges contained in the document.

Gioeli's refusal to appear in court prompted Perlmutter to make an emergency foray to the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where Gioeli is being housed during the trial.

It was there that by mid-morning Gioeli had a change of heart.

"He definitely wants to be present for closing arguments," Perlmutter informed the judge, after returning from his prison visit.

A sidebar discussion was held about Gioeli's health issues, but the judge ordered that the transcript should be sealed citing privacy concerns.

In the past, Gioeli's attorneys have catalogued a long litany of ailments the mobster is afflicted by, including heart problems, diabetes, issues related to the implantation of a stent, and the effects of having suffered a stroke several years ago.

The judge then ordered that Gioeli undergo an examination by physicians at the federal detention center, and adjourned the mob trial until tomorrow morning.

After Brooklyn federal prosecutors make their final remarks to the jury tomorrow morning, attorneys for Colombo soldier Dino "Little" Dino Saracino will present their closing statements followed by Gioeli's lawyers.

The timing has lead some experts and legal observers to speculate that Gioeli's health episode today was nothing short of a calculated ploy to buy his lawyers more time to prepare.

Perlmutter declined to comment on this theory after the hearing.


'Cheeseman’s' brother facing mob charges


BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Striking a blow against organized crime, the FBI has arrested and charged the man the bureau says is the head of the Mafia in New England.

Anthony DiNunzio was arrested at his East Boston home and brought before a federal judge Wednesday, charged with racketeering and extortion, making him the latest in a string of purported high-ranking Mafia figures to be picked off by authorities.

His name may be familiar because he's the brother of former high-ranking mafioso Carmen "the Cheeseman" DiNunzio, who is now in federal prison.

Anthony DiNunzio's arrest comes as part of a years-long investigation by the Providence office of the FBI.

That investigation, which includes allegations of shakedowns of Rhode Island strip clubs, where the clubs allegedly paid protection money to the Mafia to stay in business, has already resulted in a guilty plea from former New England mob boss Luigi “Baby Shanks” Manocchio.

FOX Undercover’s camera was recording outside an East Boston restaurant – Carmen’s Kitchen, named for Carmen DiNunzio -- in 2009 when Anthony DiNunzio met with other reputed mobsters. The FBI says in court papers that DiNunzio was there talking about "the distribution of proceeds from the extortion of the Rhode Island strip clubs" and how that money would now be coming to Boston, where the Mafia leadership had transferred from Rhode Island.

The feds paint Anthony DiNunzio as a violent man. According to the indictment unsealed on Wednesday, DiNunzio told another mafia member in 2011 about his leadership style, describing how he'll deal with people who don't listen to him.

"I’ll bury you right in the (expletive) ground, you're alive. They stay there. I'll stay there (expletive) ten hours until you're dead. And I'll dig you back up and make sure you're dead,” he is quoted as saying in the indictment.

At a press conference in Providence, Department of Justice official Jim Testy said: “According to the charges unsealed today, since late 2009 and early 2010 he ruled over a criminal enterprise that profited from extortion and fear going back to the mid-1980s. We allege that he collaborated with senior members of the Gambino crime family to expand his corrupt business practices and to discuss the rules of the New England (La Cosa Nostra).”

The government says DiNunzio was worried about informants turning on him, but it wasn't just the FBI getting inside information. DiNunzio himself allegedly told another mafia member he found out about the FBI secretly recording him at a Boston restaurant in 2010.

DiNunzio pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held without bail.

In the indictment, DiNunzio is quoted as saying, “If I go to the can, I'm still the boss, no matter what.”




 



Reputed mob boss charged in RI strip club case


Published April 25, 2012

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An investigation into the alleged shakedown of Providence strip clubs left the New England mafia without its reputed leader Wednesday as authorities arrested Anthony L. DiNunzio on charges he oversaw the mob's extortion of adult entertainment businesses and sought to broaden the crime operation's influence.

DiNunzio, 53, was arrested by authorities at a social club in the North End section of Boston on a federal indictment Tuesday, officials said. The indictment describes DiNunzio as the brutal acting leader of the New England branch of La Cosa Nostra who vowed to use violence on anyone who balked at his commands.

"I get to watch you die in the ground ... and I'll dig you back up and make sure (you're) dead," DiNunzio is quoted as telling a senior made member of the Gambino crime family during a June 22 meeting last year at My Cousin Vinny's restaurant in Malden, Mass.

Authorities hailed DiNunzio's arrest as another "nail in the coffin" of organized crime, which has seen nine members and alleged associates face federal charges in Rhode Island since January 2011. Last year, authorities arrested 91 leaders, members and associates and 36 others in the largest law enforcement takedown of La Cosa Nostra in history, said James M. Trusty, chief of the Organized Crime and Gang Section in the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division.

DiNunzio's arrest is the second time a person who authorities allege controlled the New England mob has been charged in about 16 months. Former New England mob boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio, 84, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to his role in the mob earlier this year.

At a news conference, Peter F. Neronha, U.S. attorney for Rhode Island, called the indictment part of a "step-by-step, block-by-block effort" to imprison organized crime leaders.

A husky DiNunzio appeared in U.S. District Court in Providence wearing a black track suit and glasses. His attorney Robert Sheketoff entered not guilty pleas on his behalf on charges including racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy. He was ordered held without bail pending a hearing next month.

Sheketoff declined to comment outside court.

DiNunzio, who is the brother of former reputed New England mob underboss Carmen "The Cheeseman" DiNunzio, took over control of the mafia from Peter Limone about two years ago, said Rhode Island state police superintendent Col. Steven O'Donnell. He lives in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston and oversees operations in Boston and Rhode Island, authorities said.

Carmen DiNunzio is serving a six-year sentence for bribing an undercover FBI agent posing as a state official to try to win a $6 million contract on Boston's Big Dig highway project. Anthony DiNunzio's son is also with the New England mob but does not answer directly to his father, according to arguments filed by prosecutors in court seeking DiNunzio's detention while he awaits trial.

Limone, who authorities allege took over from Manocchio, stepped aside after taking a plea deal on charges in Massachusetts for extortion and illegal gaming, O'Donnell said. Prosecutors allege Anthony DiNunzio has been associated with the New England mob since the 1990s and became a made member between late 1998 and early 1999.

Aside from allegations that DiNunzio oversaw the extortion of strip clubs, the indictment claims he sent a member of the mob to New York to seek permission from the Gambino crime family to shake down an adult entertainment executive from Rhode Island.

The person, who is not named by prosecutors, previously made monthly extortion payments of $50,000 to the Gambino crime family to protect his businesses, authorities wrote in court papers.

In some meetings with Gambino crime family, DiNunzio fretted about being swept up in the strip club shakedown case, the indictment said. In the June 2011 meeting at My Cousin Vinny's, DiNunzio described the search of him a month earlier that resulted in the FBI seizing $5,000 from him after he met with Rhode Island mob captain Edward "Eddy" Lato. DiNunzio said the cash was "marked money" and predicted to Lato that they would be arrested.

"Come on, let's go have a steak for lunch because we are probably going to get pinched tomorrow," the indictment quotes DiNunzio as saying.

Lato has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to being in the mob.

Meeting with a Gambino crime family representative in December in Clifton, N.J., DiNunzio discussed who he would have step in for others in Rhode Island who had been charged in the strip club case, the indictment said.

He also said he would not be halted by an arrest.

"If I go to the can, I'm still the boss. ... no matter what," the indictment quotes DiNunzio as saying.



Reported Mob Meeting in Downtown Malden Captured in Indictment

New boss allegedly describes burying people alive during a dinner at the former “My Cousin Vinny's” restaurant.
Alleged organized crime boss Anthony L. DiNunzio was arrested on seven counts of racketeering and conspiracy in East Boston Tuesday, after authorities say he took over the Patriarca crime family about two years ago.
The Boston Globe covered the unsealing of DiNunzio's indictment Wednesday, which reportedly included this excerpt from a conversation at My Cousin Vinny's, the now closed restaurant near the Malden Center T stop.
(DiNunzio) described what he would do to anyone who balks at his orders.
“I get to watch you die in the ground... I’ll bury you right in the [expletive] ground... You’re alive. They stay there. I stay there 10 [expletive] hours until your [sic] dead. And I’ll dig you back up and make sure you are dead,’’ he is quoted as saying during a June 22, 2011, meeting at My Cousin Vinny’s restaurant in Malden.
DiNunzio will be held in custody until a formal detention hearing in Providence May 3.
The restaurant, which had a "soft launch" without much publicity last year, will be replaced by a Mexican restaurant sometime this year.

 

Five Gambino Crime Family Members and Associates Plead Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court


Gambino Associate Pleads Guilty to Murder Conspiracy Charge Related to 2002 Killing

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 26, 2012
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that VINCENZO FROGIERO, TODD LABARCA, JOHN BRANCACCIO, CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS, and SEAN DUNN—all of whom are either members or associates of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra—pled guilty to crimes including racketeering, narcotics trafficking, assault, and extortion. LABARCA also pled guilty to conspiring to commit the January 2002 murder of Martin Bosshart, which was part of a turf war over control of a Gambino family marijuana trafficking operation. These five defendants were charged along with 17 others in the Southern District of New York in January 2011 in U.S. v. Joseph Corozzo, et al. as part of a nationwide takedown of members and associates of organized crime. FROGIERO, LABARCA, BRANCACCIO, and REYNOLDS pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman. DUNN pled guilty on Monday before Judge Berman.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “For more than a decade, the vicious murder of Martin Bosshart in a mafia turf battle went unsolved. With today’s guilty plea of Todd LaBarca, one of the responsible parties will be held to account. The laundry list of illegal conduct to which LaBarca and these four other defendants pled serves as a reminder of the scourge that is organized crime and that our efforts to root it out will continue unabated.”

According to the indictment, the informations, and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceedings:

FROGERIO was a soldier and LABARCA was an associate in a crew run by Gambino family captain Louis Mastrangelo. Soldiers are members who have been formally initiated, or “made,” and associates are non-initiated individuals who commit crimes with and for the Gambino family. BRANCACCIO, REYNOLDS, and DUNN were associates in a crew run by Gambino family captain Alphonse Trucchio.

In addition to LABARCA’s murder conspiracy plea, the five defendants pled guilty to racketeering charges. Various defendants also pled guilty to narcotics trafficking, assault, extortion, and other crimes.

Murder of Martin Bosshart

From the late 1990s through 2002, LABARCA and other Gambino family members and associates, including Michael Roccaforte, imported hundreds of kilograms of high-potency marijuana from Canada into the New York City area. The marijuana trafficking operation yielded millions of dollars in profits for the Gambino family. In 2001, Martin Bosshart, who was involved in narcotics trafficking and other crimes with various members of Trucchio’s crew, began making efforts to exclude Michael Roccaforte from the marijuana importation operation. In an effort to prevent Bosshart from taking over for Michael Roccaforte and from moving in on the marijuana importation business, LABARCA plotted with other Gambino family members and associates to murder Bosshart. On the night of January 2, 2002, LABARCA and others lured Bosshart to an isolated location in Queens, New York. There, another Gambino family associate shot Bosshart in the back of the head at point-blank range, killing him. Bosshart’s body was recovered at the scene, and LABARCA’s guilty plea in this case is the first conviction of any individual in connection with Bosshart’s murder.

Narcotics Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

LABARCA, BRANCACCIO, REYNOLDS, and DUNN pled guilty to narcotics trafficking offenses. From the late 1980s through 2010, Trucchio and others oversaw the Gambino family’s large-scale narcotics distribution operations, which were primarily located in Queens, New York. Numerous drug suppliers, wholesalers, and street dealers operated under the authority and protection of the Gambino family in exchange for paying the family a portion of their profits. Over the years, the named defendants and others distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana, and thousands of ecstasy and vicodin pills, all of which generated millions of dollars in illegal proceeds for the Gambino family. During a search of BRANCACCIO’s home, federal agents seized quantities of cocaine and marijuana, as well as a shotgun, a handgun, a bullet-proof vest, and a machete.

Extortions and Assaults

LABARCA, BRANCACCIO, and REYNOLDS pled guilty for their roles in extorting payments from various businesses’ owners and individuals based in New York City through the use of violence and threats. In one instance, LABARCA, BRANCACCIO, and others threatened a small business owner with guns and threats of death in an effort to extort tens of thousands of dollars. LABARCA and REYNOLDS also pled guilty to committing assaults for the Gambino family.

Gambling

FROGIERO, LABARCA, BRANCACCIO, and REYNOLDS pled guilty to various gambling offenses, including running Internet-based sports betting, or “bookmaking,” operations, various regular, high-stakes card games, and operating video poker machines.

* * *

The maximum penalties that each defendant faces are outlined in a chart below.

Fourteen defendants previously pled guilty in connection with the case: Gambino family captains Trucchio and Mastrangelo; Gambino family soldiers Michael Roccaforte and Anthony Moscatiello; and Gambino family associates Christopher Colon, Salvatore Tortorici, Frank Bellantoni, Michael Kuhtenia, Salvatore Accardi, Keith Croce, Frank Roccaforte, Michael Russo, Robert Napolitano, and Anthino Russo.

Charges are pending against the remaining three defendants charged in the Indictment: Gambino family consigliere Joseph Corozzo, Gambino family ruling panel member Bartolomeo Vernace, and Gambino family associate Robert Bucholz. These defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Five defendants who were associates of the Gambino crime family and charged as part of last year’s takedown in a separate indictment, U.S. v. John Cipolla, et al., have also pled guilty.

Mr. Bharara praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. Mr. Bharara also noted that the investigation is continuing.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elie Honig, Daniel Chung, and Natalie Lamarque are in charge of the prosecution.

Defendant
Charges
Statutory Maximum
Sentencing
Vincenzo Frogiero
Illegal gambling, wire transmission of gambling information
Maximum: 10 years in prison
July 12, 2012 10:00 a.m.
Todd LaBarca
RICO; murder conspiracy; narcotics trafficking; extortion; assault; illegal gambling
Maximum: 23 years in prison
July 12, 2012 11:00 a.m.
John Brancaccio
RICO; narcotics trafficking; firearms; extortion; illegal gambling
Maximum: 20 years in prison
July 25, 2012 12:45 p.m.
Christopher Reynolds
RICO; narcotics trafficking; extortion; assault; illegal gambling
Maximum: Life in prison
July 24, 2012 12:45 p.m.
Sean Dunn
RICO conspiracy; narcotics trafficking
Maximum: Life in prison
July 26, 2012 12:45 p.m.




Alleged Acting New England Crime Boss Anthony Dinunzio Charged in Racketeering and Extortion Conspiracy




Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Alleged Acting New England Crime Boss Anthony Dinunzio Charged in Racketeering and Extortion Conspiracy

Nine Alleged Leaders, Underbosses, Members and Associates of the New England Crime Family Charged and Arrested Since January 2011

Anthony L. Dinunzio, 53, of East Boston, Mass., the alleged leader of the New England organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was arrested today on racketeering and extortion charges.

The arrest and charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Peter F. Neronha, U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island; Richard Deslauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.

Dinunzio was ordered detained following an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I. A third superseding indictment returned on April 24, 2012, and unsealed today in the District of Rhode Island, alleges, among other things, that Dinunzio and other leaders, members and associates of the NELCN extorted protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island.

“According to the indictment unsealed today, as the leader of the New England LCN for more than two years, Mr. Dinunzio used fear and intimidation to control the corrupt activities of his criminal enterprise,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Among other charged criminal conduct, he allegedly asked an LCN member to extort a businessman in the adult entertainment industry and told others he would use violence against insubordinates. These charges are another step in our unrelenting efforts to stamp out the mafia.”

“This superseding indictment is the latest in a step by step, block by block, effort by this office, our partners in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, the FBI, the Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department to charge, prosecute and send to federal prison long-time members of, and in particular, the leadership of, organized crime,” said U.S. Attorney Neronha.

“The FBI and its law enforcement partners have shattered Omerta, the New England LCN’s code of silence. In doing so , we have severely disrupted their criminal activity,” said FBI SAC DesLauriers. “Our persistent, methodical, and unyielding investigation of those who are part of the LCN and other groups will not stop. Looking forward, organized crime groups and transnational criminal enterprises are emerging from every corner of the globe. Through our task-force and intelligence based model, our joint efforts will continue to disrupt and dismantle emerging organized crime syndicates to prevent their entrenchment in our communities.”

Dinunzio is charged with one count each of racketeering and extortion, and five counts of travel in aid of racketeering. Since January 2011, he is the ninth alleged leader, underboss, member or associate of the NELCN to be indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence on federal racketeering and related charges. Five of the defendants, including admitted longtime former NELCN underboss and boss Luigi Manocchio and admitted capo regime Edward Lato, have pleaded guilty and are detained while awaiting sentencing. A sixth defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Dec. 12, 2011, to 30 months in prison.

The third superseding indictment alleges that Anthony Dinunzio, a member and capo of the NELCN, assumed a leadership role of the NELCN in late 2009 and early 2010, and ultimately became the acting boss. This superseding indictment alleges that Dinunzio participated with other NELCN members and associates in a racketeering conspiracy in which monthly cash payments for protection of $2,000 to $6,000 were demanded from the owners and operators of several adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island. Several of those NELCN members and associates have previously pleaded guilty to racketeering charges. This superseding indictment also alleges that on several occasions, at Dinunzio’s direction, crime family members from New England, New York and New Jersey were consulted with and/or traveled to Massachusetts to discuss various criminal activities and crime family matters. Dinunzio also allegedly directed NELCN members to travel to various locations, including New York, for meetings to discuss various criminal activities and crime family matters.

           

According to this indictment, it is alleged that one such meeting occurred on Nov. 3, 2009, in Boston, at a wake of an NELCN member’s mother, and later that same evening at a local restaurant. During these meetings, Dinunzio and another NELCN member allegedly discussed, among other things, the distribution of proceeds from the extortion of the Rhode Island adult entertainment businesses. Dinunzio allegedly indicated that a portion of those extorted monies would now be coming to him and to the NELCN leadership in Boston. Previously, as alleged, the money had been going to former Rhode Island NELCN boss Luigi Manocchio who had stepped down as boss in 2009.

In addition, this indictment alleges that in late 2009 or early 2010, Dinunzio asked another NELCN member to extort money from a prominent businessman in the adult entertainment industry in Rhode Island, who had paid protection money to the Gambino crime family from New York over the years. Dinunzio allegedly dispatched an NELCN member to New York to meet with Gambino crime family members on several occasions to receive Gambino family permission to extort money from the businessman for businesses he was operating in New England.

According to this indictment, it is alleged that on June 22, 2011, Dinunzio met with a senior made member of the Gambino crime family at a restaurant in Malden, Mass. Dinunzio allegedly discussed the extortion of the Rhode Island strip clubs, indicating that “it is still going.” Dinunzio also discussed a May 5, 2011, FBI search of his person and the seizure of $5,000 cash in alleged protection money paid by Rhode Island businesses and brought to him by a NELCN leader from Rhode Island.

In this June 22, 2011, meeting with a senior Gambino crime family member, Dinunzio allegedly discussed the rules for joining the NELCN. In discussing a fellow LCN member, Dinunzio allegedly stated, “You know what I can’t understand? How the hell did he get made, because he’s half Irish…I don’t understand that...that’s not the rules…you gotta do one hundred percent (Italian).” Referring to a person sponsored for membership, Dinunzio allegedly stated, ‘I said he’s good.’ For ten years he waited. Then he come and see me and said ‘Thank you Anthony. You know I’m with you all the way.’ He deserved it though.”

                                   

According to this indictment, at the same June 22, 2010, meeting with a senior Gambino crime family member, Dinunzio allegedly discussed his NELCN leadership style stating, “As soon as I took over I changed everything. One guy… ‘What if nobody wants to listen to you?’ ‘I said you’re shelved.’ He said ‘What if they don’t wanna get shelved?’ ‘Well then you and I get to watch you die in the ground….I’ll bury you right in the [expletive] ground puts all the dirt. You’re alive. They stay there. I’ll stay there [expletive] 10 hours until you’re dead. And I’ll dig you back up and make sure you’re dead.’”

The indictment alleges that Dinunzio continued to be concerned about the investigation, arrests of other members and possible government cooperators in the case. The third superseding indictment alleges that despite these concerns, he continued to try to get other members to assist in running the Rhode Island part of the criminal enterprise. At one point, during a Dec. 7, 2011, meeting with a senior Gambino made member, Dinunzio allegedly commented, “If I go to the can. I’m still the boss…no matter what.”

An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sam Nazzaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland for the District of Rhode Island. The matter is being investigated by the FBI, Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department.