Feds Charge Genovese and Bonanno Crime Family Associates in New York with Gambling, Racketeering

A Nassau County detective was among those arrested.

Feds Charge Genovese and Bonanno Crime Family Associates in New York with Gambling, Racketeering
The Gran Caffe in Lynbrook, N.Y., where the Genovese and Bonanno crime families allegedly held an illegal gambling operation, is shown in this file photo. (Screenshot/Google Maps)
Naveen Athrappully

Nine people linked to the Genovese and Bonanno organized crime families—including a detective with the Nassau County Police Department—were indicted in a Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday and charged with illegal gambling, racketeering, money laundering conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and other related offenses.

Eight of the defendants are members or associates of the two crime families, which are alleged to have worked together to operate multiple illegal gambling operations in Long Island, New York, and the New York City borough of Queens. The “substantial” profits made through these gambling centers were laundered through cash transfers to the defendants, as well as “kicking up” to the leaders of the families, according to the Department of Justice.

Since at least May 2012, the Bonanno and Genovese families are accused of jointly operating an illegal gambling operation called Gran Caffe in Lynbrook, New York.

Separately, the Genovese family allegedly had illegal gambling parlors at the Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon, New York, and Sal’s Shoe Repair in Merrick, New York, while the Bonanno family allegedly conducted such operations at the Soccer Club in Valley Stream, New York, and the Glendale Sports Club and La Nazionale Soccer Club in Queens, New York.

The Genovese gambling parlors were operated by its members Carmelo Polito (also known as "Carmine Polito"), Joseph Macario (also known as “Joe Fish”), Joseph Rutigliano (also known as “Joe Box”), and Salvatore Rubino (also known as “Sal the Shoemaker”), police said.

The Bonanno gambling operations were handled by members Anthony Pipitone (also known as “Little Anthony”), Vito Pipitone, and Agostino Gabriele, police said.

The Genovese and Bonanno families are part of the “Five Families” organization of La Cosa Nostra, the Italian–American mafia, in New York.

Local Detective Also Involved

The detective indicted in the case, Hector Rosario, was working with the Nassau County Police Department when he allegedly became involved in the scheme. Prosecutors say he accepted money from the Bonanno family to arrange police raids on competing gambling locations.

Rosario is charged with lying to the FBI and obstructing a grand jury investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The arrest of the crime family members and associates demonstrates that the mafia “continues to pollute our communities” through violence, extortion, and illegal gambling while using the country’s financial systems for criminal purposes, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in the press release.

“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," Peace stated.

“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."