Nine alleged mobsters from two major crime families — including a Nassau County detective — were arrested on various charges involving racketeering, illegal gambling, money laundering conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and related offenses in New York City and Long Island, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Among those charged includes 49-year-old Anthony “Little Anthony” Pipitone, an alleged Bonnano captain and soldier from Deer Park, NY; 40-year-old Vito Pipitone, Bonanno soldier, of Wellington, FL; 35-year-old Agostino Gabriele, Bonanno associate, of Glendale, Queens; 63-year-old Carmelo “Carmine Polito” Polito, a reputed acting captain in the Genovese family from Whitestone, Queens; 68-year-old Joseph “Joe Fish” Macario, Genovese soldier, of West Islip, NY; and Genovese associates 58-year-old Salvatore “Sal the Shoemaker” Rubino, of Bethpage, NY, and 63-year-old Joseph “Joe Box” Rutigliano, of Commack, NY.
Also arrested were 59-year-old Oceanside, NY resident Mark Feuer and 49-year-old Mineola resident Hector Rosario, a detective with the Nassau County Police Department. Several defendants are set to be arraigned before the federal court in Brooklyn. Vito Pipitone was arrested in Wellington, Florida and set to appear in Miami, while Rutigliano remains at large.
“Today’s arrests of members from two La Cosa Nostra crime families demonstrate that the Mafia continues to pollute our communities with illegal gambling, extortion, and violence while using our financial system in service to their criminal schemes,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. “The defendants tried to hide their criminal activity by operating from behind the cover of a coffee bar, a soccer club, and a shoe repair shop, but our Office and our law enforcement partners exposed their illegal operations. Even more disturbing is the shameful conduct of a detective who betrayed his oath of office and the honest men and women of the Nassau County Police Department when he allegedly aligned himself with criminals.”
According to court documents, members of the Genovese and Bonanno organized crime families allegedly operated several illegal gambling operations in New York City and Long Island. Starting around May 2012, the Genovese and Bonanno families allegedly jointly operated a lucrative illegal gambling operation at the Gran Caffe, located at 31 Hempstead Ave. in Lynbrook, New York. The profits that were allegedly earned through this and other sites generated substantial revenue, which was then laundered through cash transfers to the defendants and through “kicking up” to the crime families’ leaders.
Rutigliano and Rubino allegedly collected the proceeds for the Genovese crime family and distributed them up to higher-ranking members, including Polito and Macario. Court documents say that at times Gabriele allegedly collected the proceeds for the Bonanno crime family and distributed them up to higher-ranking members of that family, including Anthony Pipitone and Vito Pipitone.
In addition to Grand Caffe, the Bonnano crime family allegedly, through Anthony Pipitone, Vito Pipitone, Gabriele and others, ran illegal gambling parlors at establishments called the Soccer Club (129 Rockaway Avenue, Valley Stream), La Nazionale Soccer Club (80-13 Myrtle Avenue, Queens) and Glendale Sports Club (74-03 Myrtle Avenue, Queens). The Genovese family, through Polito, Macario, Rutigliano, Rubino and others, allegedly ran addition parlors at Sal’s Shoe Repair (41 Merrick Avenue, Merrick) and Centro Calcio Italiano Club (1007 Little East Neck Road, West Babylon).
Polito is also charged with allegedly operating an illegal online gambling scheme in which bets were placed on sporting events through a website called “PGWLines.” In connection to this operation, Polito allegedly attempted to extort an individual who lost several thousand dollars in bets he placed through the website. For example, in an October 2019 call concerning a delinquent debtor whose “face” Polito allegedly had previously threatened to “break,” Polito instructed another individual to relay a new message to the debtor: “Tell him I’m going to put him under the f—–g bridge.”
Additionally, Rosario allegedly accepted money from the Bonanno crime family in exchange for offering to arrange police raids of competing gambling locations. Rosario is subsequently charged with obstructing a grand jury investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and lying to the FBI.
“This case is further proof that organized crime is alive and well in our communities,” stated District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly. “These violent criminal organizations operated secret underground gambling parlors in local commercial establishments, generating substantial amounts of money in back rooms while families unknowingly shopped and ate mere feet away. These Mafia figures were assisted by a sworn member of law enforcement, who helped these gambling dens to thrive by offering police raids on competing clubs. The Mafia has brought untold violence and extortion into our neighborhoods for decades, even threatening the life of an individual as part of this case. This indictment sends a strong message that we are committed to rooting out corruption and organized crime. We thank the EDNY, the FBI and the Nassau County Police Department DA Squad for their partnership in helping to keep our communities safe.”