A 16-count indictment was unsealed today in Brooklyn federal court, charging 10 defendants with racketeering conspiracy, extortion, witness retaliation and union-related crimes committed to to dominate the carting and demolition industries in New York. All ten defendants are in custody and are expected to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. In connection with these arrests, federal authorities executed search warrants, including the one resulted in the seizure of several firearms from an associate of the Gambino crime family.
As part of a coordinated operation, Italian law enforcement today arrested six members and associates of organized crime who are charged with, among other crimes, mafia association and related criminal offenses. One person is still on the run.
The defendants are Joseph Lanni, also known as “Joe Brooklyn” and “Mommino”, an alleged captain in the Gambino organized crime family, Diego “Danny” Tantillo, Angelo Gradilone, also known as “Fifi” , and James LaForte, alleged Gambino. soldiers, Vito Rappa, alleged US-based Sicilian Mafia member and Gambino associate, Francesco Vicari, also known as “Uncle Ciccio”, alleged US-based Sicilian Mafia associate and Gambino associate Gambino, and Salvatore DiLorenzo, Robert Brooke, Kyle Johnson, also known as “Twin,” and Vincent Minsquero, also known as “Vinny Slick,” alleged Gambino associates.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James Smith, Deputy Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge, Northeast Region , The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Edward A. Caban, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Elizabeth Crotty, Commissioner and Chair of the Commission of New York City Business Integrity (BIC), announced the
“As has been alleged, for years the defendants committed violent extortion, assault, arson, retaliation against witnesses and other crimes in an attempt to dominate the carting and demolition industries in New York,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “Today’s arrests reflect the commitment of the Office and our law enforcement partners, here and abroad, to keeping our communities safe by completely dismantling organized crime.
Mr. Peace expressed his gratitude to the New York Waterfront Commission, law enforcement partners in Italy, including the Palermo District Attorney, State PoliceTHE Servizio Centrale Operativoand the Mobile team from Palermo.
“These defendants learned the hard way that the FBI is united with local and international law enforcement in our efforts to eradicate the insidious threat of organized crime. Those arrested allegedly participated in a racketeering conspiracy to control the city’s carting and demolition industries. The FBI will continue to lead the fight against organized crime and ensure that individuals willing to cross the line are punished by the criminal justice system,” said Smith, FBI Assistant Director in Charge.
“Today’s arrests should serve as a warning to those who believe they can operate in plain sight with apparent impunity – the NYPD and our law enforcement partners exist to shatter that notion.” , said New York Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “And we will continue to eliminate members of traditional organized crime wherever they operate. »
“An important part of the Office of Inspector General’s mission is to investigate allegations of fraud involving unions and their affiliated benefit plans. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations,” said DOL-OIG Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone.
“Investigating these issues is at the heart of BIC’s mission to ensure that industries subject to our regulation do not pose a risk to public safety. These arrests demonstrate that the influence of organized crime will never go unchecked,” said Elizabeth Crotty, Commissioner and President of the BIC. “BIC thanks the NYPD, FBI, EDNY and our other partner agencies for their collaboration and excellent work on this case.”
As alleged in government court documents and summarized below, members and associates of the Gambino crime family used violent extortion, fraud, theft, and embezzlement to infiltrate the carting and trading industries. demolition in order to enrich himself and the Gambino crime family, including by laundering the proceeds of crime. . For example, in the midst of a financial dispute between Tantillo and the owners of Demolition Company 1, Tantillo and Johnson coordinated a violent hammer attack on the dispatcher of Demolition Company 1, who was left bleeding and seriously injured.
Extortion linked to the carting and demolition industries
Tantillo, Rappa, Vicari, and Johnson engaged in a violent extortion plot related to the demand and receipt of money from John Doe 1, who operated a carting business in the New York area. The extortion scheme involved threatening John Doe 1 with a bat, setting fire to the steps of John Doe 1’s residence, attempting to damage John Doe 1’s trucks, and violently assaulting an associate of John Doe 1 1. Additionally, Tantillo and Vicari were captured. on court-authorized wiretaps regarding threats they made against John Doe 1 and John Doe 1’s stepfather. In one call, Rappa said Vicari “behaved like the ‘last samurai,” describing how Vicari picked up a knife and ordered John Doe 1’s father-in-law to threaten to cut John Doe 1 in two in order to get John. Doe 1 to make exorbitant payments. After John Doe 1 finally made a $4,000 payment to Vicari, Vicari and Rappa met and sent Tantillo a photo of Vicari raising a small bottle of champagne, as if in a toast.
Additionally, Tantillo, Brooke, and Johnson engaged in two separate violent extortion schemes from Demolition Company 1 and its owners regarding alleged debts owed to Tantillo and a company operated by Tantillo and Brooke. Brooke violently attacked one of the homeowners on a street corner in midtown Manhattan. In another instance, as mentioned, Tantillo and Johnson coordinated a violent hammer attack on a Demolition Company 1 dispatcher, which left the dispatcher bleeding and seriously injured. Dispatcher photos of the victims were then distributed to various people in the carting and demolition industries.
Union-related fraud and crime in the haulage and demolition sectors
The defendants also committed a series of crimes aimed at stealing and embezzling funds from unions and employee benefit plans, as well as bid rigging in the demolition and haulage industries. Under one such scheme, DiLorenzo provided Rappa with no-show work at DiLorenzo’s demolition company so that Rappa could receive union paychecks and health benefits, among other benefits. Likewise, Tantillo arranged for Gradilone to receive a “no-show” job at a construction company with which Tantillo was associated, which allowed Gradilone to receive paychecks and union health benefits to which he did not. I didn’t have the right. Tantillo and Johnson also conspired to get Johnson a “no-show” job, so that Johnson could also receive union health benefits.
Tantillo also misappropriated funds from employee benefit plans by using workers from a non-union company, Gane Services, Inc., to perform work for union companies managed by Tantillo, and by failing to make contributions for this work as required by collective agreements.
Additionally, Tantillo, DiLorenzo and their co-conspirators conspired to rig bids for lucrative demolition contracts in New York. Among other things, Tantillo and DiLorenzo coordinated the exchange of bidding information between their companies to secure a project on Fifth Avenue.
Additional billed programs
The defendants also carried out a series of other crimes in the New York and New Jersey areas from 2017 to 2023. Their racketeering activities included additional extortion, retaliation against a federal witness, and money laundering, among other things. crimes, as detailed in court documents. . For example, in September 2023, Lanni and Minsquero coordinated an assault on the owners of a New Jersey restaurant, including physically assaulting a woman at knifepoint. Additionally, LaForte, having previously been convicted of a felony, illegally possessed a firearm around May 2023.
The charges in the indictment are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The defendants face maximum sentences ranging from 20 to 180 years in prison.
The government’s case is being handled by the Bureau’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. Assistant United States
JOSEPH LANNI (also known as “Joe Brooklyn” and “Mommino”)
Age: 52 years old
DIEGO TANTILLO (also known as “Danny” and “Daniel”)
Age: 48 years old
Age: 55 years old
Age: 66 years old
ANGELO GRADILONE (also known as “Fifi”)
Age: 57 years old
KYLE JOHNSON (also known as “Twin”)
Age: 46 years old
JAMES LAFORTE (also known as “Jimmy”)
Age: 46 years old
VINCENT MINSQUERO (also known as “Vinny Slick”)
Age: 36 years old
VITO RAPPA (also known as “Vi”)
Age: 46 years old
FRANCESCO VICARI (also known as “Frank” and “Uncle Ciccio”)
Age: 46 years old
EDNY file number.