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Archive for June 30th, 2015

Gang Land News: Feds Cheer Mama’s Boy Mob Snitch, And He Earns A Sweet Reward

Jerry Capeci is considered a mob expert. He’s the founder and editor of the paid subscription website Gang Land News. This article was republished with permission.

By Jerry Capeci

Anthony Zoccolillo’s role as a co-star of the short-lived Mama’s Boys of the Bronx reality TV show was pretty much a flop.

But there was applause all around for the former Genovese crime family associate-turned super snitch at his sentencing last month. Surrounded by dozens of FBI agents, NYPD detectives and very happy family members, a smiling but moisteyed Zoccolillo walked out of Manhattan Federal Court and breathed free fresh air for the first time in 18 months.

His best review came from Judge Richard Sullivan who praised him for “truly extraordinary” undercover work following his arrest on drug dealing charges and sentenced Zoccolillo to “time served.”

In January, Gang Land dubbed Zoccolillo The Most Effective Mob Turncoat Of 2014. Federal prosecutor Rebecca Mermelstein said he was he even better than that. She credited him with giving her the crucial evidence to obtain six indictments against 14 mobsters and drug dealers, and dubbed Zoccolillo the best cooperating witness she had seen in her five years as an assistant U.S. Attorney.

“This is, without a doubt, the cooperator who has offered the most substantial assistance,” Mermelstein said of Zoccolillo. She submitted a list of 27 gangsters, including 13 members of a violent Bronx-based Albanian gang who pleaded guilty to drug, weapons and other charges rather than face the former Mama’s Boy on the witness stand.

“He did it from the very beginning” when he “worked proactively to make hundreds of in-person telephone recordings,” she said. “Unlike many people, he never withheld anything. He never got caught minimizing anything. He came forward immediately and did  the right thing.”

The sentencing documents, and a transcript of the proceeding, which took place May 1, were sealed until this week. Judge Sullivan ordered them unsealed following a Gang Land pro se motion that cited the public’s common law and First Amendment right to open court proceedings. Zoccolillo, as Gang Land first disclosed two years ago, flipped on the same day he was arrested — February 20, 2013.

He quickly snared Genovese mobster Salvatore (Sally KO) Larca and three others on tape as they conspired to buy thousands of pounds of marijuana in northern California and distribute it in New York. Larca was buying the high-grade weed for $1500 a pound and selling it for $4000 a pound.

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Prison Where 2 Killer Inmates Escaped Is Under Investigation for Alleged Drug Smuggling Ring

Clinton Correctional Facility

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating an alleged drug smuggling ring that operated at the upstate New York prison where two killers escaped, the New York Post reports. 

“The FBI is investigating the prison for drug trafficking. Agents are re-interviewing inmates and prison workers who have already been interviewed by state investigators,” a source familiar with the investigation said.

“This is a vote of no confidence by the feds in the state investigation. And it’s likely the state investigators did not ask pertinent questions regarding the drug trafficking that the FBI is currently asking. The information on the possible drug trafficking came up in the initial interviews conducted by state investigators with inmates and staff,” the source said.

The investigation is exploring other reported crimes at the Clinton Correctional Facility.

Convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped but both were later captured. Matt was shot and killed Friday, and Sweet was wounded and captured Sunday.

Justice Department Blasts Police for Violating Rights During Ferguson Protests

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department blasted the police response to the Ferguson protests and riots, saying police violated free-speech rights, antagonized and intimidated crowds with military-style tactics and protected officers from being held accountable, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The police were accused of “vague and arbitrary” orders to force protesters to move, which “violated citizens’ right to assembly and free speech,” according to a DOJ reported to be issued soon.

“Had law enforcement released information on the officer-involved shooting in a timely manner and continued the information flow as it became available, community distrust and media skepticism would most likely have been lessened,” according to the document.

The report also said police sometimes indiscriminately used tear gas.

The DOJ also suggested that police stop using dogs for crowd control because it antagonized and scared protesters.

The full report, which is still being finalized, contains about 45 “findings” with recommendations for improvements.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Establishes Command Centers in Event of Terrorist Attack This Weekend

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

To monitor potential terrorist threats on the Fourth of July weekend, the FBI is establishing command centers so federal authorities can respond quickly in the event of an attack, Fox News reports.

While the FBI has no credible threats, it is concerned about ISIS and other homegrown terrorists during the holiday weekend. Terrorist attacks were launched in three countries Friday.

The command centers will be used to gather information from local, state and federal law enforcement.

FBI Arrests Another Alleged ISIS Supporter in New Jersey Following Heightened Alert

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 23-year-old New Jersey man accused of helping support ISIS.

Alaa Saadeh, of West New York, allegedly bought his brother a plane ticket to fly to the Middle East and join ISIS, the Associated Press reports. 

Saadeh faces numerous charges, including conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, aiding and abetting an attempt to provide material support and witness tampering. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Saadeh also is accused of helping a friend lie to the FBI.

According to the criminal complaint, Saadeh’s brother, who has not been identified, was arrested earlier the month and charged with conspiring to provide material support to foreign terrorists.

DEA Agent Sentenced to 2 Years for Using Fraudulently Issued Government Credit Cards

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent was sentenced to two years in prison Monday after using fraudulently issued government credit cards to steal more than $113,000 from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Keenya Meshell Banks, 41, of Maryland, was earlier convicted of wire fraud.

Banks was a program manager for the DEA and was responsible for approving and issuing government credit cards to DEA employees, the North Dallas Gazette reports.

Banks admitted submitting fake credit card applications using fictitious DEA employees and then using those cards for her person benefit.

In all, Banks said she obtained at least 32 fraudulent credit cards.