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 41 Charged in Mob Case Based on Informer

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vinny nip

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PostSubject: 41 Charged in Mob Case Based on Informer   Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:18 am

41 Charged in Mob Case Based on Informer


By JOSEPH F. SULLIVAN

Published: August 22, 1990



Forty-one people, including members of six organized-crime families and two of their bosses, were charged with racketeering today on the basis of almost 400 conversations secretly recorded by one informer.

The informer, George Fresolone, even recorded his own induction into the Bruno-Scarfo crime family in the Bronx on July 29, the authorities said. The ritual included pricking the ''trigger'' fingers of Mr. Fresolone and four other candidates to draw blood, and the igniting of paper in their hands while they vowed to burn in hell before betraying family members.

The filing of the criminal complaints and the subsequent arrests and arraignments of 30 of the defendants was announced by the New Jersey Attorney General, Robert J. Del Tufo.

He said the defendants included John Riggi, 65 years old, of Elizabeth, the reputed boss of the DeCavalcante crime family; Anthony Piccolo, 67, of Collingswood, the acting boss of the Philadelphia-based Bruno-Scarfo family, and Joseph Licata, 48, of Florham Park, the leader of the Bruno-Scarfo family's northern New Jersey faction.

Also arrested was Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., 25, of Scotch Plains, the son of Nicodemo Scarfo, the boss of the crime family. The elder Scarfo was sentenced to Federal prison two years ago on racketeering and murder charges. Col. Justin Dintino, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said the elder Scarfo was able to direct the activities of his organization from prison in Illinois by using his son as a go-between.

Those arrested today face grand jury investigations on a variety of charges, including extortion, bribery, gambling promotion, drug possession, loansharking, aggravated assault, unlawful weapons possession and conspiracy. The defendants also include members or associates of the Columbo, Gambino, Luchese and Genovese crime families.

All were arraigned before Judge Michael Degnan of Superior Court in Newark and assigned bail, which was set at $100,000 for Mr. Riggi, Mr. Piccolo and Mr. Scarfo and $150,000 for Mr. Licata.

Those arrested today were assembled at the Totowa state police barracks, where a trooper said that when Mr. Riggi was brought in, the other defendants who were sitting around immediately stood up.

The undercover investigation by the state's Organized Crime Task Force, which includes members of the state police and lawyers from the State Division of Criminal Justice, began when State Police Detective Edward Quirk obtained the cooperation of Mr. Fresolone soon after he was indicted, along with others, on gambling and loansharking charges in March 1988. An affidavit filed by Detective Quirk said that in August 1989, Mr. Fresolone began wearing a recording device whenever he met or traveled with his associates.

Detective Quirk said Mr. Fresolone had worked with members of the Bruno-Scarfo family for 10 years before he became a ''made'' member last month. During that period Mr. Fresolone delivered payments, called ''tributes,'' from lower-level family members to high-ranking ones and was familiar with the organization.

During the last year the undercover operation, which included video-recordings and court-authorized wiretaps, turned up evidence of payoffs by executives to insure labor peace and buy protection from harassment. The protection payments were described by crime family members as a ''street tax,'' the affidavit said. Detective Quirk was assisted by Detective Sgt. William Newsome in monitoring Mr. Fresolone's activites.

Zoning Board Member Charged

The affidavit describes how Mr. Fresolone collected $15,000 each year from Michael Salimbene, owner of Tectonic Construction Company in Newark, and turned it over to Mr. Riggi, who was a former business agent for Local 394, International Laborers and Hod Carriers Union. Mr. Riggi would then return some of the money to Mr. Fresolone for the leaders of the Bruno- Scarfo family. A message left at Mr. Salimbene's office today requesting an interview was not returned.

Mr. Riggi was convicted this year of Federal extortion charges and is awaiting sentencing.

As a result of conversations on Mr. Fresolone's recorder, John Mavilla, 43, a member of the Newark Zoning Board, was charged today with bribery and official misconduct for accepting $2,000 from Giordano Waste Haulers of Newark for a variance sought by the company. Mr. Mavilla's telephone number is not published.


The affidavit also says that the Bruno-Scarfo family controls the Grayhound Electronics company of Toms River, which makes video game machines. Mr. Del Tufo said the family distributed illegal video slot and poker machines in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and that Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. was negotiating with crime families in New York, Nevada and Massachusetts to market the machines nationwide.
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