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Tag: gang land news

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.

 

Gang Land News: Mobster Wants Loanshark Money He Earned While Working Undercover for FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
The government sees it as an act of chutzpah.

Mob expert Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News reports that Reynold (Ren) Maragni, a Colombo capo, who was cooperating with the feds, “poked his finger” in the eyes of the feds by filing papers demanding the federal government in Brooklyn  return $48,500 in loanshark payments he accepted in 2011 while working undercover for them.

Capeci reports that Maragni returned the dough to  monitoring FBI agents, but could really use the cash now.

Capeci writes:

In court filings, assistant U.S. attorneys Elizabeth Geddes and Allon Lifshitz opposed the mobster’s audacious request. They noted that the money was evidence, that the cash was criminal proceeds that were subject to criminal as well as civil forfeiture statutes, and that Maragni agreed to its forfeiture in a February 9, 2012 “cooperation agreement”

The government also opposed a separate motion by Maragni’s attorney to use some of that money to cover his legal fees. The judge agreed with the feds, but allowed the lawyer to resign from the case, and appointed a new attorney, who won’t have to worry about the gangster stiffing him, too. He will be paid by the government.

Gang Land News is a subscription based website on organized crime.

 

FBI In Early 1960s Mistakenly Referred to Mob as “La Causa Nostra”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

How unsophisticated was the FBI when dealing with the mob in the early 1960s?

So unsophisticated that the bureau referred to the La Cosa Nostra as the La Causa Nostra, according to Jerry Capeci, the mob expert who runs the site Gang Land News.

Capeci writes that for near two years, from September 1961 until July of 1963, the FBI had the name wrong.

Capeci writes:

The lack of agents familiar with the Italian language probably didn’t help matters, but the incorrect term originated with two confidential informants who were developed by FBI agents under the Top Hoodlum program that Hoover put into play to gather intelligence about the Mafia in the 1950s, according to FBI documents obtained by Gang Land.

“According to (informer) NY T-2,” stated one FBI report, “during  September, 1961, in the Italian underworld, the overall organization or group is referred to as ‘La Causa Nostra,’ literally translated, ‘our Cause.’ This term, in his opinion,” the report continued, “could be readily interchangeable with the word Mafia.”

Visit Gang Land News website

 

 

 

Oops: Fed Agents’ Big Goof in Arrest of NY Mobster

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This is a goof almost too good to be true.

Mob expert Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News reports that the feds — more specifically, federal agents with the Department of Homeland Security — were a little embarrassed a few weeks ago when they tried arresting Gambino crime family  capo Alphonse Trucchio.

The feds phoned Trucchio and told him to step outside his South Ozone Park, Queens home so they could arrest him on racketeering charges, according to Gang Land News.

Problem was, when Trucchio stepped outside, no one was there, Gang Land reported. Inside, shortly after, the phone rang again.

“If you don’t come outside now, we’re going to break the door down,” warned an agitated agent, Gang Land reported.

“Where are you? I just went outside and there was no one there,” said Trucchio, according to Gang Land.

The agents said they were outside his Howard Beach home.

“I don’t live there anymore,” replied the gangster, according to Gang Land. “I’ve been living here for 10 years…I’m on house arrest on an electronic monitor – and you don’t know where I am?!”

Gang Land reported that he then gave the agents the right address.

 

FBI Agent Calls Staffing Against NY Mob “Dangerously Low”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is the N.Y. FBI allocating far too little to fight the five Organized Crime Families?

The answer is a definite Yes, according to a story by mob expert Jerry Capeci, editor of Gang Land News.

The site reports that the number of agents investigating New York wiseguys is at an all time low. One agent, the site reports, calls it “dangerously low.”

Still, Gangland reports that “G-men and women from other federal agencies have jumped into the fray to fill the void against the thousands of wiseguys and associates of the infamous Five Families.”

An example, according to the site, were the arrests last week by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Diplomatic Security Services (DSS) agents with the State Department arrested three wiseguys and four associates of the Gambino and Bonanno crime families on racketeering charges.

Gang Land reported that the FBI has reduced the number of squads that investigate the Five Families to three and the number of agents trying to keep tabs and arrest 700 made men and 7000 associates to about 45.

“It’s pretty obvious that there are other people locking up people that we used to lock up,” one veteran agent who has worked on mob squads for more than a dozen years told Gang Land. The agent called the number of FBI agents going after the mob “dangerously low.”

“In terms that the numbers-crunching bureaucrats can understand,” said the agent, “it’s impossible for 45 agents to do the work that 65 or 70 – or even more – were doing without losing effectiveness.”

“Across the U.S. the mob’s influence and power is not what it used to be, even in cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

But New York is different,” the agent said, according to Gang Land News. “They are still a viable force here. But for some reason the organized crime emphasis here is on non-traditional OC, not the LCN,” which is FBI-speak for La Cosa Nostra.

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin told Gang Land News: “The FBI’s allocation of resources isn’t etched in stone. We continually monitor and assess how best to deploy agents and other resources. We’re continuing to address the threat posed by organized crime in New York, including the five La Cosa Nostra families. But we have to do that with finite resources, spread across all of our investigative programs.”

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Feds Convict Crooked Attorney But Not Before Being Duped by FBI Snitch


Louis Cherico/gang land news photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds got their conviction on Tuesday in New York against attorney Louis Cherico for mortgage fraud. But the case was not without embarrassment in what Gang Land News described as “Keystone Kops-like antics by the feds.”

Jerry Capeci, editor of Gang Land News, reports that the feds and Cherico “were victims of an elaborate scam by an FBI snitch.”

Here’s how.

Back in September, before trial started for Cherico, an FBI snitch provided bogus info to the feds that Cherico was going to skip town and head to South America to be with a former lover who wanted to ditch her husband, Gang Land News reported.

The snitch went as far as to say that Cherico was trying to get a secret charter flight to Venezuala and apparently used “text-spoofing” to make it look as if Cherico was texting certain messages.  Gang Land wrote: “As it happens, Cherico, 70, does not even know how to send text messages.”

Cherico ended up having to wear an ankle monitor.

On the last day of trial, Gang Land News reports, fed prosecutor Nicholas McQuaid announcd that the feds had “developed information that undermines the credibility of our source significantly.”

Gang Land reported that the prosecutor asked the judge to remove the ankle monitor from Cherico.

The feds may have gotten duped, but they did get the conviction against Cherico,70, for bank fraud, mortgage fraud and money laundering in what turned out to be a three-week trial. Sentencing is set for March 6.

 

 

Feds Expected to Pass on Using Star Prosecution Witness From Gotti “Junior” Case

John Alite pictured in big photo/ny daily newsBy Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Using “mob turncoats” to testify in court doesn’t always work. It comes down to credibility.

Apparently, jurors weren’t buying what “mob turncoat” John Alite was selling as a star prosecution witness in the the fourth and final unsuccessful trial in 2009 against his ex-best friend, John (Junior) Gotti, son of the late Godfather John Gotti.

Alite, a convicted murderer and associate of the Gambino Crime family,  testified that the younger Gotti, who was a childhood friend,  approved multiple murders.  Apparently, his word was no good, at least in the eyes of some jurors. The case ended with a deadlock jury in December 2009, and the government decided after failing four times, not to go for a fifth trial.

Jerry Capeci, an expert on the mob who runs the website Gang Land News, reports that “Brooklyn federal prosecutors have figured out how to keep the flawed mob turncoat John Alite off the stand in a companion case to the failed prosecution of John (Junior) Gotti.”

Gang Land News reports that the feds have “rounded up a slew of better witnesses” in a multiple murder case against John Burke, a Queens gangster. One of the witnesses is expected to be Peter (Bud) Zuccaro, who was a defense witness for Gotti Junior, Gang Land News reported.

Gang Land News reported that “Burke is awaiting trial for three gangland-style slayings from 1982 to 1996, including one that Gotti allegedly ordered.”