Bonanno and Genovese gangsters arrested at NY Poker Parlor Sting: Feds
Two of New York’s most notorious mafia families have formed a secret gambling alliance – then suffered a major blow to their profit streams with a series of arrests on Tuesday morning.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say eight members or associates of the Bonanno and Genovese crime clans have been arrested for their roles in connection with a series of illegal poker parlors run by a coffee shop, a shoe repair store and several social clubs dotted around Queens, NY and suburban Long Island.
Renowned Bonanno capo Anthony Pipitone, known as ‘Little Anthony’, was among the highest-ranking of the gathered sages as authorities released two indictments – one for each family – with allegations dating back to a decade. Among the indicted associates is a Nassau County police detective who allegedly accepted money from Bonanno’s coffers to stage police raids on rival gambling operations.
The two indictments, secretly issued earlier this month, allege Pipitone, 49, who has a history of mob-related charges, jointly operated a ‘profit’ gambling parlor inside the cafe and ice cream shop Gran Caffe in Lynbrook after successfully negotiating a profit split with Genovese family capo Carmelo Polito, 63, and 68-year-old Genovese soldier Joseph Marcario, also known as ‘Joe Fish”.
The underground gambling den housed “illegal joker poker-type” machines and traditional card games that brought more than $10,000 a week to the crime family coalition, according to prosecutors.
Defendants Joseph “Joe Box” Rutigliano, 63, and Salvatore “Sal the Shoemaker” Rubino, 58, allegedly collected the coffee proceeds for the Genovese side, donating them to Polito and Macario. (Rutigliano was not among the men arrested on Tuesday and remains at large, prosecutors say.)
Defendant Agostino Gabriele, 35, allegedly collected profits for the Bonanno family, sending laundered tribute payments to senior members such as Little Anthony and another co-defendant, Vito Pipitone, 40.
Beyond the Gran Caffe, prosecutors say the Genovese family also ran illegal gambling parlors at Sal’s Shoe Repair in Merrick, NY, and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon. The Bonanno family, meanwhile, ran more hidden gambling parlors at two sports-themed social clubs on Myrtle Avenue in Queens and a third in Valley Stream, authorities said.
Polito is further accused of working with co-defendant Mark Feuer, 59, to run an online sports betting website called PGWLines. Prosecutors say Polito threatened violence as he tried to collect debts owed to the site, warning one person in a phone call in 2019 that he would “smash” the individual’s “face”. Polito reportedly had a similar chilling message for another delinquent debtor: “Tell him I’ll put him under the fucking bridge.”
The new indictments charge the nine defendants with charges ranging from racketeering, illegal gambling and money laundering to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Disgraced Nassau County detective Hector Rosario, 49, is charged in the Bonanno family indictment with obstructing a grand jury investigation and lying to the FBI.
“Today’s arrests of members of two La Cosa Nostra crime families demonstrate that the Mafia continue to pollute our communities with illegal gambling, extortion and violence while using our financial system to serve their criminal schemes. “, Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
Peace said the “disgraceful conduct” of the detective who “betrayed his oath” was “disturbing”.
Seven of the defendants made their first appearances in Brooklyn Federal District Court on Tuesday. They pleaded not guilty and were released on various bails: $2 million for Anthony Pipitone, $1.1 million for Polito, $700,000 for Macario, $500,000 for Gabriele, $200,000 for Feuer and $150,000. $ for Rubino.
“Gambling is legal everywhere in America except Brooklyn – if you’re Italian!” Macario and Polito defense attorney Gerald McMahon recounts rolling stone. Efforts to contact lawyers for the other defendants were not immediately successful.
In a letter to the judge asking for “substantial” bail amounts with strict conditions, prosecutors said Pipitone had previous convictions for heroin distribution and “violent stabbing”. They said he posed a “particular threat” because he had the “ability to order those under his command to commit crimes in his name”.
They said Polito had a “serious criminal history” which included a conviction for planning the November 1994 murder of two associates of the Genovese family.
“These violent criminal organizations operated secret underground gambling halls in local business establishments, generating substantial sums in backrooms while families unknowingly shopped and ate mere meters away,” the county attorney said. of Nassau, Anne T. Donnelly, whose office joined in the investigation. said in a statement.