Operation Old Bridge

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Operation Old Bridge is the code name for the February 7, 2008 arrests in Italy and the United States that targeted the Gambino crime family. Among the indicted were the reputed acting bosses Jackie D'Amico, Nicholas Corozzo and Consigliere Joseph Corozzo of the Gambino crime family. The indictments included: murder, drug trafficking, robbery and extortion.[1]

The police operation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was able to collect the needed information through informant Joseph Vollaro, (owner of a truck company on Staten Island) who secretly recorded several conversations with members of the Gambino family.[1] More than 80 people were indicted in the Eastern District of New York. The case is now referred to as United States of America v. Agate et al. It was initially assigned to Judge Nicholas Garaufis, but later reassigned to Judge Jack B. Weinstein.

Gambino crime family boss Nicholas Corozzo turned fugitive after he was tipped off by his daughter who witnessed her husband and fellow mobster being led away by the US authorities. On May 29, 2008, Corozzo finally couldn't take life on the run anymore and so he turned himself in to authorities with his lawyer by his side. Of the 62 American defendants, 60 pleaded guilty with at least 52 of them facing no more than three years in prison.[2][3][4]

The operation broke up a growing alliance between the Gambinos and the Sicilian Mafia, who wanted to get further into the drug trade. One of those arrested in the raids in the US was Frank Cali, a captain in the Gambino family. He is allegedly the "ambassador" in the US for the Inzerillo crime family.[5]

The name of the police operation, "Old Bridge", refers to the historical ties of an exile group of Sicilian Mafiosi across the Atlantic ocean. After the Second Mafia War in the beginning of the 1980s the surviving members of the Inzerillo Mafia Family had been "allowed" to migrate to New York to avoid extermination by the Corleonesi faction and then victorious Sicilian boss of bosses Salvatore "Toto" Riina. The Inzerillo’s American relatives and associates of New York's Gambino family intervened on their behalf. They were allowed to settle in the States in exchange for a pledge: neither they nor their offspring would ever again set foot on Sicilian soil. They became known as gli Scappati, the Runaways. Two decades later, the Runaways were returning to Palermo. The exiles had good reasons: Riina and his successor Bernardo Provenzano, were both arrested and are serving life terms in Italy. The runaway Inzerillo clan was allegedly rebuilding the "Old Bridge" between America and Sicily, reestablishing the business and drug trafficking ties between the Sicilian and American mobs.[6]

Convictions

  • The following list contains some of the most notable charged and does not include most of those convicted.
Name
Charge Verdict Sentence Release date[7]
Thomas Cacciopoli Extortion April 4, 2011
Frank Cali Racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy Pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges 16 months June 4, 2009
Charles Carneglia Murder Guilty by jury of four murders[8] Life imprisonment[8] N/A
Domenico Cefalu Racketeering Pleaded guilty to extortion[2] Two years[9] November 3, 2009
Joseph Corozzo Racketeering, drug trafficking[2] Pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge 46 months June 10, 2011
Nicholas Corozzo Enterprise corruption and murder Pleaded guilty to enterprise corruption charge and was found guilty by jury of murder 13½ years March 2, 2020
Jackie D'Amico Racketeering[2] Pleaded guilty to extortion[2] Two years[10] November 3, 2009
Leonard DiMaria Pleaded guilty to racketeering, extortion, and conspiracy August 31, 2012
Richard G. Gotti Attempted murder[11] Pleaded guilty Eight years[12] February 22, 2015
Vincent Gotti[11] Attempted murder Pleaded guilty[11] Eight years[12] February 22, 2015
Richard Ranieri Extortion[13] March 1, 2010
Vincent Dragonetti Extortion[14] 37 months[14] May 28, 2011[14]

Other indicted Mafiosi

American Mafiosi indicted

Those without a release date listed either weren't sentenced to jail time or weren't imprisoned in a Federal Bureau prison.

  • Joseph Agate
  • Vincent "Elmo" Amarante
  • Jerome "Jerry" Brancato (released September 3, 2010)
  • Nicholas Calvo (released January 12, 2010)
  • Joseph "Joe Rackets" Casiere
  • Mario "Lanza" Cassarino (released September 15, 2010)
  • John Cavallo
  • Gino Cracolici
  • Sarah Dauria
  • Vincent "Vinny Hot" Decongilio (released January 22, 2010)
  • Salvatore DeGrazia
  • Vincent Donnis
  • Robert Francis "Bobby the Jew" Epifania (released June 6, 2010)
  • Cody Farrell
  • Louis Faustino
  • Russell "One Eye" Ferrisi (released December 5, 2008)
  • Louis Filippelli (released December 9, 2008)
  • Ronald Flam
  • Joseph "Joe Gag" Gaggi
  • Abid "Han" Ghani (released February 14, 2008)
  • Anthony "Buckwheat" Giammarino
  • Ernest "Ernie" Grillo (released April 13, 2010)[15]
  • Christopher Howard
  • Steven Francis "Stevie I" Iaria (released March 31, 2009)
  • Eddie James
  • John Kasgorgis (released April 4, 2008)
  • William Kilgannon
  • Michael King
  • Anthony Licata (released February 1, 2011)
  • Joseph Marsilio
  • Defacto Morganelli
  • Anthony O'Donnell
  • James Outerie (released June 25, 2010)
  • Vincent "Vinny Basile" Pacelli (released May 5, 2010)
  • John "Johnny Red Rose" Pisano (released September 30, 2008)
  • Todd Polakoff
  • Giulio "Gino" Pomponio
  • John "Reeg" Regis (released October 3, 2008)
  • Jerry Romano
  • Angelo "Little Ang" Ruggiero, Jr. (release date: May 2, 2013)
  • Steven Sabella
  • Jimmy Scalzo
  • Anthony John Scibelli (released January 26, 2011)
  • Augustus "Gus" Sclafani
  • Joseph Scopo (released July 27, 2010)
  • William "Billy" Scotto
  • Edward "Eddie" Sobol
  • Joseph Spinnato (released January 30, 2009)
  • Michael "Mike the Electrician" Urciuoli (released June 24, 2008)
  • Frank "Frankie" Vassallo
  • Tara "Big Tara" Vega
  • Arthur Zagari

Sicilian mafiosi indicted[16]

  • Francesco Adelfio (66)
  • Salvatore Adelfio (42)
  • Giuseppe Brunettini (37)
  • Filippo Casamento (82) (Bocadifalco clan member, Bonanno family associate, former Catalano-Ganci Consortium member and Pizza Connection defendant) (released May 7, 2010)
  • Antonino Chiappara (42)
  • Sergio Corallo (42)
  • Giovanni De Simone (46)
  • Maurizio Di Fede (40)
  • Salvatore Emanuele Di Maggio (59) (Torretta clan member)
  • Nicola Di Salvo (70)
  • Melchiorre Guglielmini (49)
  • Giovanni Inzerillo (36) (son of Salvatore Inzerillo)
  • Tommaso Lo Presti (33)
  • Giovanni Lo Verde (69)
  • Stefano Marino (36)
  • Giovanni Nicchi (27) (Pagliarelli capo-mafia, successor to Rotolo, Sicilian emissary to New York)
  • Pietro Pipitone (54)
  • Gaetano Savoca (41) (Brancaccio)
  • Vincenzo Savoca (77) (Brancaccio)

Sicilian mafiosi already in prison who were indicted

  • Andrea Adamo (46) (Brancaccio capo-mafia, ally of Salvatore Lo Piccolo)
  • Calogero Di Gioia (60)
  • Lorenzo Di Fede (83)
  • Benedetto Graviano (50)
  • Tommaso Inzerillo (59)
  • Cesare Carmelo Lupo (47)
  • Antonino "Nino" Rotolo (62) (Pagliarelli capo-mafia, Palermo Federation leader, rival of Salvatore Lo Piccolo)
  • Giuseppe "Pino" Savoca (74) (Brancaccio capo-mafia)
  • Salvatore Sorrentino (43)

Sicilian mafiosi on the run

  • Salvatore Parisi (54)

Sicilian mafiosi indicted who turned pentito

  • Giovanni Adelfio (70) (Villagrazia clan member)

References

  1. ^ a b "Feds bust Gambino bigs". NY Daily News. New York. February 8, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Supposed mob KO falls apart". NY Daily News. New York. May 29, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Alleged hit man, fugitive capo out of plea deals for bigs in Gambino round up". NY Daily News. New York. February 28, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sixty Gambino Mobsters, Associates Plead Guilty - National Legal and Policy Center". Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "BBC News - 'Mafiosi' held in US and Sicily". February 7, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Case of the Exiled Mobsters". TIME.com. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Inmate Locator". Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Smirking Gambino 'acid' killer gets life". New York Post. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Reputed Mafia underboss sentenced to 2 years in jail". NY Daily News. New York. August 12, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Broke Gamibino crime boss gets 2 years". NY Daily News. New York. August 19, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Two Gotti gang members plead guilty". UPI. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Gotti Bro Jailed For Failed Hit". New York Post. 6 December 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "School bus driver arrested for molesting 3-year-old girl with speech impediment". NY Daily News. New York. March 9, 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Gang Land News. Jerry Capeci. March 3, 2011 [1]
  15. ^ Maddux, Mitchel (2 March 2012). "Thug must pay back NASCAR - New York Post". New York Post. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  16. ^ (in Italian) «Old Bridge», i nomi dei fermati a Palermo, Corriere della Sera, February 7, 2008
  • De Risi, Giuliano. 79 Arresti Tra Sicilia e USA, Mafia, Stroncato L'Asse Palermo-New York, AGI News On. February 7, 2008.
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