Eighteen members and associates of New York’s Genovese crime family were indicted yesterday and charged with racketeering conspiracy, involvement in a murder conspiracy, an attempted murder, an extortion conspiracy, and an illegal gambling operation.
Chief among the defendants are 74-year-old Robert “Old Man” DeBello, who was frequently observed by the FBI meeting with his mob captain at a social club in lower Manhattan, and 56-year-old Steven Pastore, both regarded as made members of the Genovese crime family holding the rank of soldier; and mob associates Ryan “Baldy” Ellis (34) and Salvatore “Fat Sal” Delligatti (40).
All four are accused of involvement in the criminal affairs of the Genovese family in a period spanning 2008 through to 2016. Prosecutors allege that DeBello, Ellis, and Delligatti participated in a 2014 murder conspiracy and an attempted murder, in a conspiracy to commit extortion, and in the operation of an illegal gambling business. While doing so they also committed firearms offenses.
Serious charges that could earn them life in prison if convicted.
Pastore is charged with racketeering conspiracy and participating in the illegal gambling operation. He faces 20 years on the conspiracy charge and 5 years on the gambling pinch.
The rest of the defendants can be divided into two groups: Five of them are charged with participating in the murder-for-hire conspiracy with Mafia associate Salvatore Delligatti and related firearms offenses; while the nine remaining defendants were involved in the illegal gambling ring.
At a press conference announcing the arrests, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “[These] charges show that the mob continues to wreak havoc in our communities, including through a recent murder conspiracy, attempted murder, and extortion. With [these] charges, we strike an important blow against the Genovese Crime Family. Whether you are an old school made member of the mob or a young street criminal looking to join it, the message today is clear: the life of a mobster is a dead-end street that ends nowhere good.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez added: “The crimes of extortion for so-called ‘protection,’ illegal gambling businesses, and conspiracy to commit murder are woven into the history of organized crime families, but so are the federal racketeering charges that wiseguys face after committing those criminal activities. Today, 18 defendants were indicted as part of a multi-year investigation by the FBI and our partners at Nassau County Police Department and New York City Police Department. As long as organized crime members and associates keep their criminal ways, we will keep investigating and bringing charges against them.”
“This racket was as old as La Cosa Nostra,” NYPD Commissioner Bratton William J. Bratton concluded. “From murder for hire to extortion and gambling, there wasn’t a scheme that was off limits to these soldiers and associates of the Genovese family. The mob may be diminished, but it’s not dead, and it requires our continued vigilance. I commend of the FBI, Nassau County Police, U.S. Attorney, and team of NYPD detectives who made today’s arrests possible.”
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