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Gambino Mafia family associate pleads guilty to arson in Queens over $400 measly bucks in extortion scheme

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

Alleged Gambino Mafia family associate Peter Tuccio (photo above, right, sitting next to Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph Merlino) pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday to using fire to commit the felony crime of extortion. The 27-year-old wiseguy faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years behind bars when he is sentenced.

The charged crimes occurred in 2015, when a businessman who was being extorted by a capo in the Gambino crime family began avoiding him in order to stop paying him his annual payment of $400 dollars. Not the largest extortion payment ever demanded by the Mafia. If you get two premium Netflix subscriptions you will pay that company more than this Gambino mobster. But it’s about the principle.

Sending a message

That is why the Gambino family captain ordered Tuccio and two other hoods - Jonathan Gurino and Gino Gabrielli – to make him understand the way things work. On December 3, 2015, the three men observed the businessman leave a smoke shop in Howard Beach, New York and drive away in his 2014 Mercedes Benz.

They then followed the businessman at high speed through the streets of Queens and confronted him outside a pizzeria, where Tuccio mentioned the Gambino family capo and commented on the businessman’s car.

The three men then decided to set the businessman’s car on fire, sending a message that he had to continue making the extortion payments to the Gambino capo. Later that night, the businessman heard a loud noise and saw that his car was on fire outside of his residence.

Pants on fire

His security video system recorded Gabrielli pouring a substance on the car, the car erupting in flames, and Gabrielli running away with his pant leg on fire. Shortly thereafter, Gabrielli and Tuccio were caught on surveillance video entering Jamaica Hospital. After the arson, the businessman paid more than $5,000 to the Gambino family capo. He had received the message.

The bungling wiseguys did too. In August 2016, Gabrielli pleaded guilty to the arson and in June 2020, Gurino pleaded guilty to extortionate collection of credit and extortion. Tuccio now joins his partners in crime as the three wiseguys await their sentencing.

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