16 arrested in U.S., Italy in Gambino family organized crime crackdown


Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Ten men in New York and six others in Italy have been arrested following a two-year investigation into the Gambino organized crime family and alleged mafia activities, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday.

The defendants in Brooklyn federal court are charged in a 16-count indictment, alleging "violent extortions, assaults, arson and union-related crimes," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, as part of a racketeering conspiracy to dominate New York's carting and demolition industries.

"Today's arrests reflect the commitment of this Office and our law enforcement partners, both here and abroad, to keep our communities safe by the complete dismantling of organized crime," Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

The Gambino crime family is one of five Italian-American Mafia families in New York.

The indictment lists the defendants as Joseph Lanni, 52, of Staten Island; Diego Tantillo, 48, of Freehold, N.J.; Robert Brooke, 55, of New York; Salvatore DiLorenzo, 66, of Oceanside, N.Y.; Angelo Gradilone, 57, of Staten Island; Kyle Johnson, 46, of the Bronx; James LaForte, 46, of New York; Vincent Minsquero, 36, of Staten Island; Vito Rappa, 46, of East Brunswick; and Frances Vicari, 46, of Elmont, N.Y.

The other six alleged organized crime members, arrested by Italian law enforcement in Sicily on Wednesday, have also been charged with mob-related crimes," according to Peace.

Each defendant faces maximum sentences of between 20 and 180 years in prison, if convicted.

"These defendants learned the hard way that the FBI is united with our law enforcement locally and internationally in our efforts to eradicate the insidious organized crime threat," said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.

Among a number of allegations is a financial dispute between one of the defendants and the owners of Demolition Company 1, which ended in a "violent hammer assault" on the company's dispatcher, according to court documents, which also allege the defendant circulated photos of the attack to others.

"This operation represents yet another example of how dangerous and interconnected the network of relationships between Sicilian clans and American mafia families is," said Chiara Colosimo, president of the Anti-Mafia Commission. "I have always believed that a global phenomenon like the mafia requires a global response, and today's investigation confirms it."