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Tag: Bronx

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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DEA Arrests 2 in Largest-Ever Seizure of Heroin in NYC History

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The bust was so big that federal authorities are already calling it the largest seizure of heroin in New York City history.

The DEA helped nab a pair of suspected Bronx drug traffickers in what turned out to be the largest seizure of heroin in the city’s history, NBC New York reports.

Agents seized more than 150 pounds of heroin that is worth at least $50 million. An additional $2 million in cash.

Investigators believe the traffickers routinely received similar-size shipments every month from Mexico and supplied the deadly, addictive drug to users in New York, Pennsylvania and New England.

“To put it in perspective, this load was so large it carried the potential of supplying a dose of heroin to every man, woman and child in New York City,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said in a statement. “While this important seizure stopped a huge amount of heroin from flooding our city, it also highlights the critical need to intercept heroin before it ever reaches our region.”

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Investigating Voter Fraud, Financial Mismanagement in The Bronx

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating voter fraud and financial mismanagement of politicians in The Bronx, the New Work Post reports.

The probe comes at a time when Albany’s power shifted to Bronx politicians after Sheldon Silver stepped down as speaker of the New York Assembly following his arrest by the FBI.

Replacing him was Carl Heastie, a Bronx political powerhouse.

The target of the probe, however is unclear, but the Post reported that the investigation was prompted, at least partially, by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

“I’m hearing that one document turned over to Bharara shows that some candidates in certain Bronx districts got more votes than the number of voters who went into the booths,” the Post’s John Crudele wrote.

“There is also a question about the use of campaign funds for personal purposes, a source tells me,” wrote Crudele. “Stay tuned. This could get interesting quickly.”

Was ‘Hero’ ATF Agent Too Cold After Shooting a Bronx Weapons Dealer?

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An ATF agent hailed as a hero for fatally shooting a Bronx weapons dealer is suing the federal agency because he was taken off full duty after the incident, the New York Post reports.

Adam Bruzzese, of Long Island, said his bosses at ATF were convinced something was wrong with him because they believed he didn’t show enough emotional reaction.

“Although Mr. Bruzzese appreciated the gravity of the on-the-job shooting, he did not experience any psychological, psychosomatic or emotional difficulties and he was willing and able to return to work immediately,” the suit states.

But a boss “questioned Mr. Bruzzese’s mental and emotional stability because Mr. Bruzzese did not seek further counseling, did not take time off from work and was supposedly not acknowledging the seriousness of the incident,” the suit says.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Judge Metes Out Harsh Sentence in Synagogue Bombing Plot; Sharply Criticizes Govt. in Sting

istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The sentence on Wednesday was harsh in the bombing plot of Bronx synagogues, but was so the lambasting the federal judge gave the federal government in its sting.

U.S.  District Judge Colleen McMahon sentenced  James Cromitie, 45, David Williams, 30, and Onta Williams, 35, to 25 years in prison in a Manhattan federal court.

But she also sharply criticized the government, saying, according to the New York Daily News:

“The essence of what occurred here is that a government understandably zealous to protect its citizens from terrorism came upon a man both bigoted and suggestible, one who was incapable of committing an act of terrorism on his own,” McMahon said, referring to Cromitie.

“It created acts of terrorism out of his fantasies of bravado and bigotry, and then made those fantasies come true,” she added.

The Daily News reported that the judge said  unlike other domestic terror cases, “the government did not have to infiltrate and foil some nefarious plot – there was no nefarious plot to foil.”

Then she took aim at the defendants.

“You were not political or religious martyrs,” the judge said. “You were thugs for hire, pure and simple.”

In May 2009, the FBI charged the trio after they left bombs in front of the Riverdale Jewish Center and the Riverdale Temple. The bomb, which ended up being fake, were provided by an FBI informant.

The Daily News reported that the informant lured Cromite into the plot with money.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NY Judge Upholds Synagogue Plot Conviction But Says FBI Might Have Entrapped Defendants

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A New York federal judge delivered a mixed message Tuesday, refusing to overturn last year’s conviction of four men accused of  plotting to blow up synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes. At the same time, she suggested the men may have been entrapped by the FBI, Courthouse News service reported.

The ruling appears to have provided fodder for an appeal.

The legal website reported that defendants James Cromitie, Onta Williams, David Williams and Laguerre Payen based their appeal on lack of predisposition and outrageous government conduct,

The defendants claimed they were entrapped by an FBI informant who offered them $250,000 and other amenities to carry out a plot they never hatched, Courthouse News reported.

U.S. District Judge Connie McMahon said of the entrapment claim: “There is some truth to that description of what transpired here. Nonetheless, the motion is denied.”

Mob Family Thicker than Blood? FBI Probing Whether Ex-Mob Boss Put Out Hit on His Son

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Among the die hard mobsters, the Mafia is more of a family to them than their real families.

Case in point: The New York Daily News reports that the FBI is investigating the possibility that one-time Genovese family boss Dominick “Quiet Dom” Cirillo ordered a hit on his son Nicholas Mother’s Day in 2004.

The Daily News reported that the son vanished shortly after getting into a brawl in the Bronx with Bonanno soldier Dominick Cicale and second-generation gangster Vincent Basciano Jr.

The paper, citing sources, said the son was high on crack during the scuffle.

“There was concern the kid [Nicholas] was out of control and he was going to cause problems for the [Genovese] family,” a source told The News.

To read more click here.

N.Y. DEA and Locals Bust Heroin Ring that Hid Drugs in Toy Bears

heroin stuffed in teddy bear/dea photo
heroin stuffed in teddy bear/dea photo

Agents have seen it all when it comes to hiding drugs like heroin. Here’s the latest hide-and-seek game where the dealers lost.

BY Samuel Goldsmith
New York DAILY NEWS
NEW YORK –– They don’t stock this option at your local Build-A-Bear store.

Authorities announced Saturday a massive heroin bust in the Bronx, where dealers were moving millions of dollars in dope inside Build-A-Bear dolls.

The drugs were packaged in tiny glassine bags branded with names like Barack Obama, Swine Flu and Crime 360, a nod to a detective series on A&E.

“The agents walk in and there’s heroin and all the dime bags and the Build-A-Bears just sitting there,” said Erin Mulvey, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

State, local and federal law enforcement officers seized 33 pounds of heroin with a street value of about $33 million and arrested 12 people on Friday. The suspects were waiting to be arraigned late Saturday.

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