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12 Members of 3 Mob Families Charged with Garbage Industry Racketeering

Multi-year federal probe leads to charges against 32 people.

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George C. Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and George N. Longworth, the Commissioner of the Westchester County Police Department today announced the unsealing of charges against 32 individuals as part of a multi-year investigation into organized crime’s alleged continuing control of large aspects of the commercial waste-hauling industry in the greater New York City metropolitan area and in parts of New Jersey. 

The main Indictment charges 12 defendants under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise that asserted illegal and extortionate control over commercial waste-hauling companies, and 17 other defendants with individual acts of extortion, loansharking, and other crimes associated with those activities. 

The charges are contained in three Indictments, United States v. Franco, et al., United States v. Giustra, et al., and United States v. Lopez. Thirty of the defendants were arrested this morning in connection with today’s charges, and will be presented and arraigned in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox later this afternoon. 

Two defendants are expected to surrender this week.

The probe included Westchester and Rockland counties, along with Nassau County on Long Island and Bergen and Passaic counties in New Jersey.

“As alleged, organized crime still wraps its tentacles around industries it has fed off for decades, but law enforcement continues to pry loose its grip," Bharara said. "Here, as described in the indictments, organized crime insinuated itself into the waste disposal industry throughout a vast swath of counties in New York and New Jersey, and the tactics they used to exert and maintain their control come right out of the mafia playbook – extortion, intimidation, and threats of violence. And while these accused mobsters may have hidden themselves behind seemingly legitimate owners of waste disposal businesses, law enforcement was able to pierce that veil through its painstaking, multi-year investigation. Organized crime has many victims – in this case small business owners who pay for waste removal, potential competitors, and the communities infected by this corruption and its cost. Organized crime is in a losing battle and we and our law enforcement partners remain committed to its extinction.” 

In addition to the 12 defendants charged as members of the illegal waste disposal enterprise, 17 of the defendants are charged with carrying out various illegal activities in relation to the waste hauling industry. These illegal activities include: extortion, mail and wire fraud conspiracy, and interstate transportation of stolen property. 

“The indictments show the ongoing threat posed by mob families and their criminal associates," said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George C. Venizelos. "In addition to the violence that often accompanies their schemes, the economic impact amounts to a mob tax on goods and services. The arrests – the culmination of a long and thorough investigation – also show the ongoing determination of the FBI to diminishing the influence of La Cosa Nostra.” 

Westchester County Police Department Commissioner George N. Longworth said, “The long-term partnership between the Westchester County Police and federal law enforcement is an important means of combating organized crime and ensuring that businesses in Westchester are free to operate without fear of extortion or undue influence.” 

The indictments contend that members of the racketeering effort avoided any official connection to the waste disposal businesses they controlled because they were either officially banned from the waste hauling industry, or unlikely to be granted the necessary licenses required to do business in the waste hauling industry because of their affiliations with organized crime. Leaders of the criminal operation concealed themselves behind waste disposal businesses that were officially owned and operated by others who were able to obtain the necessary licenses because they had no known affiliations with organized crime.

Ultimately, officials say mobsters exerted control over these waste disposal businesses by, among other things, dictating which trash pick-up stops that a particular hauling company could use and extorting payments in exchange for protection by individuals associated with organized crime. By asserting and enforcing purported “property rights” over the trash pick-up routes, the members of the racket excluded any competitor that might offer lower prices or better service, in effect imposing a criminal tax on businesses and communities.

Separately, some of involved operators were also committing crimes, including stealing property of competing waste disposal businesses and defrauding customers of their customers.

The operation of the racket was coordinated by and among factions of organized crime families through the use of “sit-downs” to determine which faction would control a particular waste disposal company and established the financial terms upon which control of that company could be transferred from one faction to another in return for payment.

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAXIMUM PENALTY

One

RICO Conspiracy

Carmine Franco Anthony Pucciarello Howard Ross Anthony Cardinalle Peter Leconte

Frank Oliver Charles Giustra Dominick Pietranico Joseph Sarcinella William Cali
Scott Fappiano Anthony Bazzini

20 years in prison

Two

Extortion

Carmine Franco

20 years in prison

Three

Mail and Wire Fraud Conspiracy

Carmine Franco Pasquale Carbone Sr. Gail Iorio
Dominick Rao

30 years in prison

Four

Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

Carmine Franco Stephen Moscatello Robert Franco

Five years in prison

Five

Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

Carmine Franco Robert Franco

Five years in prison

Six

Extortion Conspiracy

Anthony Pucciarello Howard Ross Anthony Cardinalle Peter Leconte

Frank Oliver

Five years in prison

Seven

Extortion Conspiracy

William Cali William Rivera

20 years in prison

Eight

Extortion Conspiracy

Scott Fappiano, Anthony Bazzini

20 years in prison

Nine

Conspiracy to Make Extortionate Extensions of Credit

Dominick Pietranico, Joseph Sarcinella

20 years in prison

Ten

Making Extortionate Extensions of Credit

Dominick Pietranico, Joseph Sarcinella

20 years in prison

Eleven

Conspiracy to Collect Extensions of Credit by Extortionate Means

Dominick Pietranico, Joseph Sarcinella

20 years in prison

Twelve

Collecting Extensions of Credit by Extortionate Means

Dominick Pietranico, Joseph Sarcinella

20 years in prison

Thirteen

Extortion Conspiracy

Mario Velez,
Pasquale P. Cartalemi Jr., Pasquale L. Cartalemi, Andrew McGuire

20 years in prison

Fourteen

Extortion

Mario Velez,
Pasquale P. Cartalemi Jr., Pasquale L. Cartalemi

20 years in prison

Fifteen

Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

Joseph Bertolino, Brian Petroll, Robert Zarzuela, Jonathan Greene

Five years in prison

Sixteen

Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

Thomas Giordano, Michael Russo, Louis Dontis

Five years in prison

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAXIMUM PENALTY

One

Trafficking in Contraband Cigarettes

Charles Giustra, Vincent Dimino, Joseph Antico

Five years in prison

Two

Narcotics Conspiracy

Charles Giustra

40 years in prison

Three

Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

Charles Giustra

Five years in prison

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAXIMUM PENALTY

One

Felon-in-Possession of a Firearm

Kenneth Lopez

10 years in prison

NAME

AGE

RESIDENCE

Carmine Franco

77

Ramsey, NJ

Anthony Pucciarello

77

Bloomfield, NJ

Howard Ross

53

Brooklyn, NY

Anthony Cardinalle

60

Saddle River, NJ

Peter Leconte

42

Lodi, NJ

Frank Oliver

46

North Haledon, NJ

Charles Giustra

51

Staten Island, NY

Dominick Pietranico

82

Mahopac, NY

Joseph Sarcinella

78

Scarsdale, NY

William Cali

59

Queens, NY

Scott Fappiano

51

Staten Island, NY

Anthony Bazzini

53

Glen Head, NY

Pasquale Carbone, Sr.

70

White Plains, NY

Gail Iorio

49

Succasunna, NJ

Dominick Rao

76

Suffern, NY

Stephen Moscatello

52

Piermont, NY

Robert Franco

50

Hartsdale, NY

William Rivera

47

Queens Village, NY

Mario Velez

44

Peekskill, NY

Pasquale P. Cartalemi, Jr.

50

Cortlandt Manor, NY

Pasquale L. Cartalemi

27

Cortlandt Manor, NY

Andrew McGuire

29

Hawthorne, NY

Joseph Bertolino

46

Wantage, NJ

Brian Petroll

47

Columbia, NJ

Robert Zarzuela

38

North Bergen, NJ

Jonathan Greene

47

Teaneck, NJ

Thomas Giordano

42

North Arlington, NJ

Michael Russo

50

Staten Island, NY

Louis Dontis

58

Staten Island, NY

Vincent Dimino

50

Brooklyn, NY

Joseph Antico

65

Staten Island, NY

Kenneth Lopez

39

Bronx, NY

Mad Dog January 17, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Patty Villanova are you saying that local police officers are the equivalent of organized crime figures? If so how sad a human being you are. I understand people are unhappy with the tax situation around here and the economy and all that but equating men and women, who really do care about thier communities and are active tax paying members of the community like we all are, with murderous thieving thugs like these people is reprehensible. If people around here and across this country wanted to improve the situation in this country they had a chance to elect new leadership last November. Instead we elected more of the same.
Franny January 17, 2013 at 01:37 AM
So many have praise these thugs, I wonder why? These thugs that threaten beat tax paying business owners. So many live in fear of these thugs , and the one above wants to talk about Obama and guns.....Thank yourselves for making America what it is, you want to blame the poor, the liberals and Obama- but you all that support this have made this country the cesspool that it has become!
Joe January 17, 2013 at 01:38 AM
If we voted out all the politicians, then we would have to still pay them (and their medical plans, no obamacare for them) then start all over paying the new ones - we just cant win.
Scotty January 17, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Mad Dog...can't argue with you on that...you said it all.
stephany January 17, 2013 at 03:04 AM
"So many have praise these thugs" who praised them
Scott Petricig January 17, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Huh? None of those people you mentioned have guns or badges.. I don't get it.
Franny January 17, 2013 at 04:00 AM
The first poster here, posters in the New York Post and the Daily News. For some reason, they feel that these thugs/gang members are above the "average" punk that threatens and robs in the street. The fact that anyone in any forum speak of any type of injustice to these punks- is unacceptable! Thank you, FBI and all the other law enforcement officials for seeing them as they are- thugs!
stephany January 17, 2013 at 05:01 AM
don't see any praise for them in the first post but i guess someone in the universe must have praised them. I'll take your word for it, but maybe next time mention you are talking universally when you comment on an article BTW do i wish they would start beating on the non tax paying businesses like pizza,Chinese,landscapers..they got more money to pay out than legit businesses do anyway,may cut down on the beatings. this is the definition you mean right Definition of PRAISE transitive verb: to glorify (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections If i said i would rather live next to John Gotti than say Alex Gromack that would not mean i am praising Gotti. it might just mean I find him more likable, better dressed and better looking [dead i know] and associating anyone in any way with this group "Congressmen or women, assembly persons, state senators, county executives, council members or any other government officials" in general is hard to see as praise. they make the rules and make them so they,and only they, can break them
Franny January 17, 2013 at 03:05 PM
You judge a person by looks, by how they dress? That defines a person for you? And next time, I should be more specific in my post? You sound like you are related to one of these controlling "it's my way or the highway" punks. I'm glad these fat clowns were caught, makes me glad that our Justice system does not choose who to arrest based on how "good looking" they are.......whew!
joe January 17, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Boy oh boy Franny, what a misinterpretation of Stephanie's comments! You still haven't answered: Who praised the crooks? Who is not happy that they were sentenced?
robin cafarelli January 17, 2013 at 06:15 PM
if you scroll to the bottom there is one charge of gun possession
Franny January 17, 2013 at 09:50 PM
There is no misinterpretation. You clowns like to spin things, like the first poster on here. The original article in question does not relate to anything concerning Lawmakers, however, she feels that instead of going after these thugs, they should try and go after the Congressman/woman or any member from the political sector. Why compare? This is like trying to compare apples to waffles. This article was about THUGS, who have nice homes, cars, clothes and make the block look good. Most of these idiots are PRAISED by family members and friends-who do so- by bringing out the 'couldhavebeen" or "wouldhavebeen" line. If these clowns were POOR Hispanics, your post would have jammed your posts with "lock them UP" "That TRIBE needs to be sent back home" "Welfare Takers"- I have read them all............... and I know the posters who change their names, so they can continue to post more and more hate. But that hate is reserve for a certain group. However, once someone (like me) says something about THUGS that drive BMW, the gates of hell are smashed open, with the, "How dare they" mentality. I am so glad these THUGS are locked up and I hope their families with those "crime purchased" homes, casr and anything else is taken away from them. You reap what you sow.
ED HICKEY January 18, 2013 at 03:02 AM
This thread has been quite entertaining, though concurrently sobering. Organized Crime is a broad/generalized phrase that unfortunately is and has been one of the major contributing factors to the eminent demise of ournation. Greed, apathy, immorality, and GODless describes the rising population that in historical models of the lifespan of democracy places "us" on course for the average 200 year life span of democraticly governed people. The model for "organized crime" does also usually include elected officials and sworn police officers, judges, etc. These last fews statements are also generalized so please keep your emotions in check before jumping to conclusions that in writing this I am condemning whole police departments or administrations in their entirety. In addition, organized crime flourishes in this country including many, if not all ethnicities. Yes, I understand "La Cosa Nostra", AKA The family, AKA The mafia, etc is/are involved in this story of corruption, but I ask once again for all to remain objective and realize that there are considerably larger syndicates that are not of Italian decent. For example, "we" "house" 11million illegals. I'll conclude with, admittedly, my emotional plea for all to try and rediscover the qualities that made our community and nation what it once was! Corruption at every level be exposed and purged! There are so many of us left that care and can change our direction
ED HICKEY January 18, 2013 at 03:32 AM
Maybe I can be of assistance in the "praise" arguement; could it be possiblethat the word "glorified" be substituted for praise in the initial comment? It would be a daunting task to argue that our culture hasn't/doesn't glorify "La Cosa Nostra" considering the cult-like following and love shown by the popularity of The Godfather films, The Sopranos, Goodfellas .... need I say more?
Franny January 18, 2013 at 04:44 AM
My post was written by me, my feelings and thoughts were expressed. The word "praised" stand at this moment as it did when I wrote it. Too much spinning is done when the thugs are not Blacks and Hispanic. I lived in a neighborhood where these "mafia" families are prominent. The children attend the local schools and are praised by the other students but mostly out of fear! The wives are arrogant, rude and the fathers will come to your door when a threatening face, if you were unlucky to have their teenage child "bump" into your car. They don't come with good intentions, they come to make sure you know who is that child's FATHER. I have had first hand experience, I felt the hate, the controlling demeanor and the moved because I detested how everyone "praised" these clowns. So when I read forum after forum of people expressing their " what about" argument. I see and feel the praise. A criminal is criminal- I don't care how good-looking he or she is!
ED HICKEY January 18, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Franny, thank you for sharing and I am sorry to read of your experiences; I, too, have some very life altering history with "thugs" of the "families" and respectfully and genuinely had no intention of you getting the impression that my commentary was directed toward your experience and use of the word praise. My intention was directed to those who appeared to steer of course and take your commentary personally and followed by challenging/arguing. So, may I then add to your sentiments by stating in addition to many praising members of mafia family's, in my opinion our culture seems to glorify their lifestyle and be enamoured by their "world" resulting in the "less than usual" public reaction to these type of criminals vs. "other" criminals? Because I wholeheartedly agree that, simply, a criminal is a criminal.
stephany January 18, 2013 at 05:31 AM
I am used to it Joe. Gotti hot Gromack NOT
stephany January 18, 2013 at 05:45 AM
you need a little attitude adjustment is all
stephany January 18, 2013 at 05:49 AM
they are charged NOT convicted-so let's stop with the criminal crapola. where are they going to go to get their reputation back if the are not convicted we all get our------ kicked and our pockets robbed every day "guaranteed" by the politicians so i ain't gettin' it, and i kinda remember the locals loved having Gotti around.Franny must live by a lower class alleged criminal. Maybe move to staten Island and up it a notch
Franny January 18, 2013 at 06:01 AM
Mr. Hickey, thank you, for an excellent heartfelt response. Your sincerity is appreciated and accepted. Bullying is alive and thriving in this country. Adults, people that are educated, family men and women actually bully other adults- specifically when a disagreement is taking place. It's a sad world we are living in and I specifically feel sorry for the children whose parent choose to act like teenagers themselves. Once again thank you and good-night.
Franny January 18, 2013 at 06:12 AM
Lady what you have is an anger vasana. A vasana is a deep-rooted scar on the mind. Something in your past made you this angry ugly woman that you are. You THINK that you scare me, with your slang and threats, but you dont because you can't. You see, this anger that you have was there before I came along and will be there way after i log out. You're a sad, pitiful person who is related to one of these thugs and want to spread the hurt that you're feeling by displacing it with me or anyone you believe will hurt. But you see, it won't hurt me, I have a wonderful family, I commit no crimes, so when I put my head on the pillow I actually sleep. So don't let those demons keep you up all night, is not good for the eyes and hair. ;)
Franny January 18, 2013 at 06:15 AM
Attitude adjustment? Actually I got the last laugh.
AC for Prez January 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Now that the feds made RICO arrests on unlicensed garbage business owners, they might begin arresting unlicensed contractors who partner with corrupt trial lawyers who buy property to development, then steal the abutting property when owners leave for work in the morning...racketeering is racketeering.
NoName January 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I have more respect for a drug dealer than these type criminal thugs. They are leeches who merely latch on to a hard working business man and threaten him with violence, death, etc unless he forks over huge amounts of cash. The business man works his tail off and some Track suit wearing moron just rolls in and gets paid or is put on the payroll so that bad things happen dont happen. (Like your garbage trucks mysteriously catching fire) People in Howard Beach used to adore John Gotti becasue he lit off fireworks every 4th of July. Big deal! If you opened a Pizzaria and he would own it (take 75 percent) and you would work there for free. What dummies people can be. I hope all these extortionists get 20 plus in the can. Byt the looks of most of these old timers it would be the end of their reign of Extortion and outright thievery.
Aintthatascam January 18, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Good point on the ages of these persons. I bet for every one over 50, there are 20 under 40. This is perhaps a show, eye candy for those that are so gullible.
sayitsnotsojack January 18, 2013 at 05:36 PM
There are many types of extortion and the Banks charging 29% interest on credit cards is one that should be given as much attention.
stephany January 18, 2013 at 06:02 PM
" If you opened a Pizzaria and he would own it (take 75 percent) and you would work there for free. " So i guess there were no pizza parlors in howard beach. why would anyone open a pizza parlor there. if you had one already would he kill you if you closed it. what point is there to working for 0 dollars-how do you pay ANY bill..Thinking your math math does not add up. please advise as to how you pay for food,car,housing,clothes etc for your family if you have no money !! btw i think most people who own pizza parlors pay as little tax as they think the IRS will accept and pocket the rest including the sales tax they collect-can't have the sales tax adding up to more that the amount that would be collected on the pittance they report..red flag anyone. 75%-work for free. check your facts and get back with link
stephany January 18, 2013 at 06:03 PM
while paying you .01%
stephen moscatello February 14, 2013 at 11:27 PM
To all you people that have comments , you don't have a clue as to what your speaking about . Charges brought against innocent people who now have lost their jobs , not to mention 85,000 to defend themselves . And loosing the respect of your neighbors . Not to mention your children seeing you in handcuffs .
stephen moscatello February 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM
You shouldn't lump everyone together , especially since you don't know any of the facts

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