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Published On: Wed, Dec 19th, 2018

Members of the Gambino and Bonanno Crime Families Sentenced for Racketeering

Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Frank “Frankie Boy” Salerno, a soldier in the Bonanno organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Bonanno family”), was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment for racketeering conspiracy.  Previously, on December 6, 2018, John “Johnny Boy” Ambrosio, an acting captain in the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Gambino family”), and Anthony Saladino, an associate of the Gambino family, were sentenced to 51 and 63 months’ imprisonment, respectively, for racketeering conspiracy.  Ambrosio, Saladino and Salerno were the last of seven defendants to be sentenced on a superseding indictment charging Gambino and Bonanno members and associates with racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of drug trafficking, loan sharking, gambling and obstruction of justice.  The sentencing proceedings were held before United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, New York (HSI); and Geraldine Hart, Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), announced the sentencings.

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

“With these sentences, each of the seven defendants has now been punished for continuing organized crime’s corrosive influence on Long Island,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “There should be no doubt that putting a stop to the criminal activities of La Cosa Nostra continues to be a priority of this Office and our law enforcement partners.”  Mr. Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation to the New York City Police Department for its assistance in the investigation.

“Organized crime continues to plague our communities with violence, coercion, and intimidation,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “The mobsters grow richer while their victims live in fear as they struggle to make payments while dealing with daily threats. Today’s sentences demonstrate that the shirt button of a ‘made man’ is no match for a badge – the FBI/NYPD Joint Organized Crime Task Force is committed to investigating and rooting out organized crime wherever it occurs, and the perpetrators will be brought to justice.”

“These individuals were caught up in an elaborate racketeering conspiracy; acting as loan sharks, operating underground gambling rings and trafficking narcotics,”  stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez.  “Today’s sentencing should serve as notice to those pursue this criminal lifestyle, that law enforcement is diligently investigating these cases and you will be caught and serve time for your actions.”

“This case is yet another example of the dedicated collaboration among law enforcement agencies in the region to send a message that law enforcement is working together to halt the operations of La Cosa Nostra and their illegal activities,” stated SCPD Commissioner Hart. “I commend the Eastern District of New York for ensuring these individuals pay for their crimes.”

Between January 2014 and December 2017, Ambrosio and his co-defendants engaged in a racketeering conspiracy.  Salerno routinely collected payments from extortionate loans and gambling-related debts, often at the direction of Ambrosio.  In one intercepted conversation, Saladino and Thomas Anzalone discussed unpaid gambling debts, during which Saladino said he would give the debtor “something to be scared about.”  On another occasion, Saladino admitted to an undercover agent that he and Salerno were involved in organized crime, stating that Salerno “has got that thing (pointing to his shirt button),” indicating membership in organized crime.  In another intercepted call, Saladino recounted for Ambrosio a collection effort in which he threatened an individual, saying “when I get my hands around your your f—–g neck, everything is going to pop out of your ears.”  Ambrosio also was involved with a variety of gambling operations, including illegal poker games, electronic gaming machines and internet sports betting, with Salerno, Saladino, Alessandro Damelio and Joseph Durso being responsible for many of the day-to-day operations.  Anzalone, Damelio, Durso, Saladino and Salerno distributed a variety of narcotics, including cocaine, marijuana and Xanax. When Ambrosio and his co-conspirators were arrested on December 12, 2017, law enforcement agents executed search warrants at various locations, including a storage facility in Nassau County, and recovered gambling and loan sharking records, electronic gaming machines, narcotics and drug paraphernalia and numerous firearms, including two AR-15 rifles, a .38 caliber revolver and a sawed-off shotgun.

As part of his sentence, Ambrosio will forfeit $100,000, including $66,116 in cash that was seized from his residence in Huntington, New York.

Previously, co-defendant  Anzalone was sentenced on July 24, 2018 to 34 months’ imprisonment, Anthony Rodolico was sentenced on November 5, 2018 to one year in prison and Damelio and Durso were sentenced on July 11, 2018 and November 5, 2018 respectively to two months’ imprisonment.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Artie McConnell is in charge of the prosecution.

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