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Archive for April 10th, 2015

Federal Grand Jury Probes A Rash Of Home Invasions In Howard Beach

Jerry Capeci is regarded as an expert on the mob. His website, Gang Land News, is a subscription-based website. This article was republished with permission.

By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

A federal grand jury in Brooklyn is investigating a violent gang of low level Bonanno crime family associates that is alleged to be behind a rash of home invasion robberies and burglaries in Howard Beach and nearby communities in Queens and Long Island, Gang Land has learned. Sources say federal prosecutors have been presenting evidence to a grand jury about dozens of robberies in a community that was immune to drug dealing and violent crime when John Gotti and the bosses of the Luchese and Bonanno crime families lived there.

That mob immunity apparently vanished, however, with the death of the Dapper Don and the removals of Vic Amuso to prison, and Joe Massino to the federal witness protection program. In several home invasions, sources say the masked marauders made off with thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry after beating residents.

Victims, both men and women, were allegedly forced to strip naked and bound with plastic ties. Sources say that on occasion the gang threw all caution — and good sense — to the wind by targetting the homes of organized crime figures and others with crime connections. The gang’s death-wish modus operandi mirrors the real-life plot of Rob The Mob, the 2014 movie about Thomas and Rosemarie Uva, a Howard Beach couple who robbed mob social clubs in the 1990s, and were whacked by the mob.

Local community leaders confirmed the crime outbreak to Gang Land. “In March and April (of last year), there were a lot of push-in robberies and burglaries,” said Joseph Thompson, a former Brooklyn resident who moved to Howard Beach 20 years ago and is president of the Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol Inc., HBCOP, a community watchdog group that was founded in June to try to help cops stem the tide. “For a while,” said one neighborhood denizen, recalling the onslaught of break-ins a year ago, “it got so bad it seemed like every other day, you’d hear about another one. The 106 (precinct) even set up a command station.” And those were “just the reported robberies,” said a knowledgeable law enforcement source who is familiar with a federal grand jury probe by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn in conjunction with the Queens District Attorney’s Office and Detectives with the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division (OCID).

According to court records obtained by Gang Land, a ringleader of the group is Gene Borrello, a 30-year-old 6-foot-2inch, 200-pound former Howard Beach resident with numerous arrests and convictions for fraud, drugs and weapons charges in New York and Long Island since 2003. Borrello is currently cooling his heels on Rikers Island, where he’s been detained on burglary, and possession of weapons and burglars tools on a Queens arrest warrant. Borrello is also facing armed robbery charges lodged against him in Palm Beach Florida, where he was living last year and where he also is a suspect in home invasions.

In Queens, Borrello is charged with planning the armed robbery of a suspected drug dealer’s home last June 5, and with supplying the guns that two co-conspirators had with them when they set out from Howard Beach to hit a residence in the upscale Five Towns area of Long Island, according to an arrest complaint by OCID detective Gerard McNally. In mid-March of 2014, as the ring was moving into high gear, Borrello supplied a Howard Beach cohort, Frank Nunziata, also 30, with two loaded guns, a 9-millimeter pistol and a .22 caliber revolver, for use in the caper, McNally stated in the complaint. From his Florida base, Borrello later “sent him pictures of the target location” and gave Nunziata the layout of the house. In late May, Borrello allegedly instructed Nunziatta to meet up with the third member of the plot, Borrello’s brother, Frank Cipolla, 25, to give him the guns for safekeeping, and iron out the robbery plan.

The plan was for Nunziata to drive, and supply Cipolla a towel-covered-crowbar to break the sliding glass back door. They would find a safe with drugs, guns and more than $100,000 in the bedroom. Each would get a third of the haul, McNally wrote.

Unbeknownst to the brothers Borrello and Cipolla, however, Nunziata began cooperating with detectives and the Queens DA’s office following his arrest on drug and other charges a year earlier. And at 11:44 PM on June 5, shortly after Nunziata pulled away from his home at 115th Avenue and Bridgeton Street, OCID detectives stopped his dark blue BMW, and pulled both men from the car.

 In the glove box, they found a loaded .22 caliber revolver. Also allegedly found in the car were plastic zip ties, a pair of crowbars, two screwdrivers, a ski-mask and a bandana. Cipolla, whom police said had a 9millimeter pistol tucked in his waistband and a pair of black gloves in his lap, was arrested on numerous charges.
Since their arrests, hearings on charges against Borrello and Cipolla have been adjourned repeatedly with no objection from defense lawyers. Cipolla, who has a New Jersey drug conviction on his rap sheet, is free on $150,000 bail. Attorneys for each defendant, and Queens Rackets Bureau prosecutor Brian Kohm declined to comment.
The U.S. Attorney’s office also stayed mum. Howard Beach Community patrol president Thompson credited the law enforcement community, particularly the 106 precinct police, for squelching the recent robbery plague. He said crime in Howard Beach is down more than 25% since last year.
“We’re pretty much a quality of life patrol right now,” said Thompson, adding that his diverse group of community volunteers “serves as eyes and ears of the police department” and has proven to be “a deterrent against crime” since they began their patrols last August. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, sources say a federal grand jury impaneled to hear the case has heard testimony from several robbery and burglary victims in recent months as prosecutors push forward in an effort to obtain a racketeering indictment against several members of the violent home invasion gang of mob associates.

 

Weekend Series on Crime History: Mobster Vincent Gigante

FBI: 2 Detroit Cops Accused of Stealing from Drug Dealers, Dispensaries

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT –– Two Detroit cops are accused of stealing drugs, money and property during warrantless raids and bogus arrests during a four-year crime spree that ended with their suspension and the disbandment of the city’s narcotics unit.

The indictment, which was unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court, alleges that Lt. David Hansberry and Officer Bryan Watson targeted drug dealers and marijuana dispensaries, intimidating them and stealing their drugs, money and other possessions.

Also under investigation was Detective James Napier, 35, who fatally shot himself in front of his parent’s home in January.

According to the feds, the cops would “identify themselves as law enforcement officers performing official law enforcement duties in order to coerce their victims into complying with their demands and to encourage their victims to flee, leaving behind their controlled substances, money or personal property.”

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said today that the allegations shouldn’t reflect poorly on the many hard-working officers who bravely and honorably perform their duties.

“The vast majority of the men and women of the Detroit Police Department are honest and hard-working, but these defendants betrayed their oath and their fellow officers,” Craig said. “We are committed to the highest standards of integrity, and we will remove any officers who do not live up to those high standards.”

The FBI handled the investigation.

FBI, Newly Formed International Task Force Score Early Victory Against Hackers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An international task force created last year to combat cyber crimes scored an early victory this week, shutting down malicious servers that had infected at least 10,000 machines, mostly in the U.S., The CBS News reports.

The new Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce, which is collaborative effort with the FBI, Europol  and other law enforcement agencies worldwide, managed to pull the plug on the Beebone botnet quickly.

FBI Assistant Director for Cyber Joseph Demarest, Jr. said, “Botnets like Beebone have victimized users worldwide, which is why a global law enforcement team approach working with the private sector is so important. The FBI is proud to join with our partners at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), and the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unite to defeat malicious botnets that have the potential to impact thousands.”

The botnet infected computers by acting as a downloader, installing malicious software onto victims’ computers.

One of Largest-Ever Crackdowns on Gangs Nets Nearly 1,000 Arrests

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s being billed as one of the largest crackdowns on gangs.

Federal agents arrested about 1,000 accused gang members across 282 cities in the past few months, The Christian Science Monitor reports. 

The six-week crackdown, “Project Wildfire,”  involved 239 gangs.

Project Wildfire is “one of the largest operations we’ve ever conducted and it’s the most successful operation we’ve conducted. The level of cooperation is typical, but the level of success is the direct result of the level of cooperation between state and local partners,” said Mike Prado, acting deputy assistant director of transnational crime and public safety in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Holy Smokes! DEA Wants to Triple Production of Government’s Marijuana Supply

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The normally anti-marijuana DEA officially recommended that the federal government triple its production of almost 900 pounds of pot for research in 2015.

The proposal, endorsed by DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, is intended to provide a sufficient amount of marijuana to conduct research on the dangers and the medical benefits of cannabis, The Huffington Post reports.

The DEA has the authority to decide when to make marijuana available because it is currently illegal and officially considered by classification to be absent of medical benefits.

The request for increased production follows “unanticipated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States,” the DEA said in a notice published in the Federal Register.

Numerous studies around the world have shown medical benefits to marijauna.

Obsessed Former TSA Agent Gets 6 Months in Jail for Hidden Videos, Pictures

Daniel Boykin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Nashville TSA agent said he became so obsessed with a woman that he took hidden videos of her in an airport bathroom and broke into her house five times.

Daniel Boykin, 33, was sentenced to six months in jail on Thursday, and Judge Randall Wyatt advised the former agent to continue to get counseling after he is released from six months of jail, The Tennessean reports.

Included in the sentence were more than 5 years of probation and GPS monitoring.

Prosecutors said Boykin had amassed 92 videos of the victim, including 29 that were captured from a bathroom stall at Nashville International Airport.

“This was one of the worst cases I have seen in terms of invading somebody’s privacy in their most intimate moments and the most secure place, her home,” former Metro Police Detective Andrew Vallee told The Tennessean on Thursday.

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