THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
U.S. & Sicilian Mafia Still Tight?
Raids Hit Mafia in U.S. and Sicily
The Associated Press
New York -- The FBI arrested a reputed U.S. mobster Wednesday on charges he provided protection for a Sicilian counterpart mapping out criminal turf in Florida -- part of an international sweep aimed at further crippling the storied Gambino organized crime family and disrupting its ties to the Italian mob.
Wiretaps and surveillance revealed that suspected Gambino soldier Gaetano Napoli Sr. had a "close relationship" and "communicated extensively" with Roberto Settineri, a suspected member of the Sicilian Mafia facing charges in Florida and Italy, according to court papers charging Napoli and two sons. They said Napoli helped settle a dispute last year between Settineri and members of the Colombo crime family during a "sit down" at a social club in Pompano Beach.
Settineri, 41, and Italian citizen living in Miami Beach, was caught on tape telling Napoli he wanted his participation to "show everybody good manners" -- what authorities say was a reference to the La Cosa Nostra custom that only made members handle such negotiations.
At a news conference in Miami on Wednesday announcing three more arrests there, U.S. and Italian authorities told reporters the Sicilian mob had dispatched Settineri to the United States to generate more business with American gangsters.
"He had the important ties to the American crime families of Gambino and Colombo," a top Italian National Police officer, Raffaele Grassi, said through a translator.
Napoli, 71, and a son, 44-year-old Gaetano Napoli Jr., were arrested Wednesday in North Carolina on extortion, bankruptcy fraud and other charges contained in an indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn. They were to be arraigned in Raleigh on Thursday.
A second son named in the indictment, Thomas Napoli, 31, pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn to concealing assets in a bankruptcy of a family business. He was released on $100,000 bond.
FBI agents arrested Settineri on Wednesday hours before he was to fly from Miami to Italy, authorities said. He and 39-year-old Daniel Dromberhauser were indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiring to launder $10 million in crime proceeds.
Another Settineri associate, 37-year-old Italian citizen Antonio Tricamo, was indicted separately on charges of attempting to sell some 250,000 cigarettes without paying Florida taxes, laundering $1 million in ill-gotten gains and arranging a fake marriage in an attempt to gain legal status in the U.S.
Simultaneously, authorities in Italy executed about 20 arrest warrants targeting a Palermo-based Mafia crime family suspected of running extortion, money laundering and drug trafficking operations.
Judging from the above, I guess some associations have a very long "shelf life."