Sunday 19 February 2012

FOUR men have pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to charges linked to the Gambino crime family.


The charges result from a variety of activities including assault, loansharking, drug trafficking and trying to recruit illegal aliens to work in adult entertainment clubs. The US Justice Department described the four, Alphonse Trucchio, Michael Roccaforte, Anthony Moscatiello and Christopher Colon, as being "a captain, two soldiers and an associate of the Gambino organised crime family of La Cosa Nostra." Attorney Preet Bharara said, "For those who believe La Cosa Nostra's criminal activities and influence are on the decline, the sweeping charges in this case and today's guilty pleas should disabuse them of that notion". According to the Justice Department, Trucchio and Gambino family captain Louis Mastrangelo - who had previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges - supervised crews of street level criminals, known as soldiers and associates. From the late 1980s through 2010, Trucchio and his associates oversaw the Gambino family's narcotics distribution network, which was based in Queens, New York, the Justice Department reported. "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," it said in a statement. Drugs they distributed included cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and the narcotic pain killer, Vicodin. The accused men's other illegal activities included extorting payments from business owners and strip clubs, stabbing one person and hitting another with a car while trying to collect a debt and operating illegal gambling enterprises. Charges are pending against 11 more defendants.