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Four Gambino crime family members from Howard Beach pleaded guilty last week in Manhattan federal court to a multitude of charges, including narcotics trafficking, extortions, assaults, loansharking, racketeering and gambling, according to federal authorities.
Alphonse Trucchio, Christopher Colon, Michael “Roc” Roccaforte and Anthony Moscatiello face maximum sentences of life in prison for their long rap sheets as part of one of the Mafia’s notorious Five Families, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman heard Trucchio and Colon’s pleas, while U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein heard Roccaforte and Moscatiellos’ pleas, the prosecutor said.
Trucchio and Colon also admitted their guilt in a scheme to arrange for women to enter the United States illegally and then have them work in strip clubs, Bharara said.
A federal immigration official previously identified the clubs as Gallagher’s 2000 in Sunnyside, Perfection in Woodside and Rouge in Maspeth.
“For those who believe La Cosa Nostra’s criminal activities and influence are on the decline, the sweeping charges in this case and today’s guilty pleas should disabuse them of that notion,” Bharara said.
Trucchio is a captain in the Gambino family, meaning he supervises the street-level members of the Gambino mob, and Roccaforte, Colon and Moscatiello were his underlings, Bharara said. Roccaforte and Moscatiello were considered “soldiers” in the family, meaning they were initiated, and Colon was a non-initiated member referred to as an “associate,” the prosecutor said.
In addition to involvement in the strip club scheme, Trucchio is said to have overseen the Gambinos’ involvement in the narcotics trade from the 1980s to 2010, Bharara said. Operating mostly out of Queens through many street dealers, the four men and others distributed cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and vicodin, which brought the crime family millions, the prosecutor said. They also plead guilty to threatening and assaulting those who could not repay debts owed to the family, Bharara said.
In addition, Trucchio and Colon pleaded guilty to extorting and controlling strip clubs as well as running illegal gambling operations. Trucchio pleaded guilty to ordering two assaults in 2008 and in 2009, and Colon pleaded guilty to stabbing a man in 2008 and hitting a man with his car in 2010, Bharara said.
Trucchio, Roccaforte and Moscatiello were scheduled to be sentenced May 17 and Colon was scheduled to be sentenced June 4, Bharara said.
Others who pleaded guilty to being a part of the Gambino crime family’s activities in the same indictment that charged the four from Howard Beach include Salvatore Tortorici, Frank Bellatoni, Michael Kutenia, Louis Mastrangelo, Frank Roccaforte, Michael Russo and Anthino Russo.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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