(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In a massive blow to the “old-school” Italian-American mafia, the FBI has busted ten individuals purportedly connected to the Gambino crime family. At the same time, seven of their associates were arrested by Italy on the island of Sicily after a two-year operation.
The Gambino family mobsters were busted in New York City for their alleged violent efforts to dominate NYC’s waste disposal and demolition sectors.
These efforts reportedly included a hammer assault that hospitalized one individual and a menacing threat to bisect a business owner with a knife, The New York Post reports.
The accused, comprising both full members and associates of the mob, face charges such as racketeering conspiracy, extortion, witness retaliation, fraud, and embezzlement, as detailed in the indictment revealed Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court.
The allegations could result in sentences ranging from 20 to 180 years in prison for the defendants.
“As alleged, for years, the defendants committed violent extortions, assaults, arson, witness retaliation and other crimes in an attempt to dominate the New York carting and demolition industries,” commented the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace.
The 16-count indictment names as defendants Joseph “Joe Brooklyn” Lanni, 52, of Staten Island; Diego “Danny” Tantillo, 48, of Freehold, New Jersey; Robert Brooke, 55, of New York; Salvatore DiLorenzo, 66, of Oceanside, New York; Angelo “Fifi” Gradilone, 57, of Staten Island; Kyle “Twin” Johnson, 46, of the Bronx; James LaForte, 46, of New York; Vincent “Vinny Slick” Minsquero, 36, of Staten Island; Vito “Vi” Rappa, 46, of East Brunswick; and Franceso “Uncle Ciccio” Vicari, 46, of Elmont, New York.
According to prosecutors, several of these individuals transferred substantial sums of money to Lanni, who acted as the crew’s “caporegime” or captain, through various company payments.
“The investigation has revealed that, since at least 2017, the defendants have profited from extorting individuals in the New York carting and demolition industries, including through actual and threatened violence, stealing and embezzling from union employee benefit plans and conspiring to rig bids for lucrative demolition jobs,” said the US Attorney’s office.
The situation escalated when the owner ceased payments. His home’s front steps were set on fire, endangering his family inside. His business was broken into, and an attempt was made to slash his garbage trucks’ tires.
In a particularly violent act, an employee of the demolition company was attacked with a hammer, sending a message to both companies due to their shared business dealings.
Vicari reportedly coerced the victim’s father-in-law into threatening to cut his son-in-law in half if he did not resume payments. Following this, payments resumed, and Rappa sent a photo of Vicari celebrating with champagne.
Tantillo, Brooke, and Johnson also attempted to extort the demolition company, with Brooke assaulting one of the owners, resulting in the payment of $50,000 and significant discounts for using a facility they owned.