In a significant joint operation between U.S. and Italian law enforcement, sixteen individuals allegedly linked to the notorious Gambino crime family have been apprehended. The arrests, announced by the Justice Department on Wednesday, pertain to a range of charges including racketeering, assault, arson, and extortion, particularly within the New York carting and demolition industries.
The indictment, unsealed in New York, charges ten individuals with offenses related to racketeering conspiracy, extortion, witness retaliation, and union-related crimes. Concurrently, six alleged associates were arrested in Italy, with one suspect remaining at large.
Francesco Vicari, also known as Uncle Ciccio, an alleged associate of the Gambino family, is accused of holding a man at knifepoint to enforce extortion payments. Vicari, along with Vito Rappa, another alleged mafia associate, is named in a 16-count indictment in New York.
United States Attorney Breon Peace emphasized the scope of the alleged criminal activities, stating, “The defendants committed violent extortions, assaults, arson, witness retaliation and other crimes to dominate the New York carting and demolition industries.” Peace highlighted the commitment of the Office and international law enforcement partners to dismantle organized crime.
Among the defendants are alleged Gambino captain Joseph Lanni and soldiers Diego “Danny” Tantillo, Angelo Gradilone, and James LaForte. Additionally, Salvatore DiLorenzo, Robert Brooke, Kyle Johnson, and Vincent Minsquero, also known as Vinny Slick, were charged as alleged associates.
The indictment details an alleged violent assault coordinated by Tantillo and Johnson, involving a hammer attack on a dispatcher of a demolition company, resulting in serious injuries. Photographs of the victim were purportedly distributed within the carting and demolition industries as a warning.
Further allegations include the defendants’ involvement in stealing and embezzling from unions and employee benefit plans, and rigging bids in the relevant industries.
This operation against the Gambino crime family, a key component of La Cosa Nostra in New York City, which also includes the Bonanno, Colombo, Genovese, and Lucchese families, marks a concerted effort to curb organized crime activities in the region.