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LA Times: East Coast Mob Sweeps Like Something Out of Scorsese Film

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Aug/04/2016

  • Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, and Philadelphia Crime Families of LCN formed rare pact to operate East Coast operation
  • Many of the accused have flashy nicknames including Nicholas “Nicky the Wig” Vuolo.
  • NYC Commish:“These mobsters seemed to use every scheme known to us, from arson, to shake-downs, violence, health care fraud, and even untaxed cigarettes to keep the racket going”
  • Complaint cites one mobster who ordered a panhandler’s kneecaps broken

Mulling over the entire federal indictment unveiled Thursday charging 46 reputed mobsters with extortion, gambling, gun-running, violent acts of retribution, loan-sharking and more, Vera Haller of the LA Times described the sweeping takedowns accurately: Like something out of a Martin Scorsese movie.

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Even the names are cinematic.  Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, Joey,” Pasquale Capolongo, a/k/a “Patsy,” a/k/a “Pat C.,” a/k/a “Mustache Pat,” a/k/a “Fish,” and Eugene O’Nofrio, a/k/a “Rooster,” among others.  Not to be outdone:  There was Nicholas “Nicky the Wig” Vuolo.

The Enterprise charged in the Indictment is composed of leaders, members, and associates of the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, and Philadelphia Crime Families of LCN, who worked together and coordinated with each other to engage in a multitude of criminal activities throughout the East Coast of the United States, including in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Bronx and Manhattan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Southern Florida.

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said:  “The charges applied today to these 46 individuals deal a significant blow to La Cosa Nostra, which the NYPD is committed to putting out of business.  As alleged, in typical mob fashion, the rackets ran from Springfield to South Florida and left no scheme behind. These mobsters seemed to use every scheme known to us, from arson, to shake-downs, violence, health care fraud, and even untaxed cigarettes to keep the racket going.  I want to thank my friends Preet Bharara and Diego Rodriguez for their work at the Justice Department and FBI for making today’s case possible and their collaborative efforts during my tenure as Commissioner of the NYPD.”   

The LA Times report cites one particularly brutal attack:  After women in the neighborhood complained that a panhandler had bothered them in a parking lot near the restaurant, Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello allegedly ordered his associates to “break” the man’s knees.

According to the indictment, one of the men who allegedly carried out the beating, Ronald “The Beast” Mastrovincenzo, was later recorded on a wiretap saying: “[R]emember the old days in the neighborhood when we used to play baseball? … A ballgame like that was done.”

One of the associates was recorded on a wiretap saying he would “whack” a man.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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