81-Count Federal Criminal Indictment Unsealed Charging 10 Defendants Alleging an Illegal Gambling Operation

September 25, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 24, 2012 released the following:

More Than $8.1 Million in Gambling Proceeds Laundered by Defendants in Oklahoma, California, Nevada, and Costa Rica

OKLAHOMA CITY—Today, an 81-count federal indictment was unsealed charging 10 defendants with crimes involving an illegal gambling operation and the money laundering of proceeds derived from that operation, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma; Jim Finch, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Andrea D. Whelan, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.

The defendants charged in this indictment are:

  • TEDDY DRYDEN MITCHELL, 57, of Oklahoma City
  • DRYDEN RYLEY MITCHELL, 32, of Oklahoma City
  • BILLY NICK MITCHELL, 22, of Oklahoma City
  • DAVID BRUCE LOVELAND, 64, of Oklahoma City
  • JERRY WAYNE GILCHRIST (aka “Best Buy Jerry”), 34, of Oklahoma City
  • MICHAEL LEE McCULLAH, 35, of Ardmore, Oklahoma
  • JUSTIN EDWARD MUSGROVE, 39, of Midwest City, Oklahoma
  • RICHARD ALLEN HANCOCK, 67, of Yorba Linda, California
  • GARY JOHN GIBB, 68, of Reno, Nevada
  • GORTATION MANAGEMENT, S.A., a Costa Rican corporation

According to the indictment, the defendants were members of an illegal gambling business that (1) operated “high stakes” poker games from a residence located at 640 N.W. 150th, in Oklahoma City; (2) took bets and wagers on sporting events on behalf of betting clients; (3) used an illegal Internet gambling website in interstate and foreign commerce for the benefit of betting clients; (4) laundered the proceeds of illegal gambling activities; and (5) committed various crimes related to the operation of an illegal gambling business, including but not limited to, interstate travel in aid of racketeering and use of a wire communication facility to transmit betting information.

The indictment specifically alleges that Teddy Mitchell organized poker games at the residence listed above where professionals from local casinos, associates, and family members (including Dryden Mitchell, Billy Mitchell, Musgrove, Loveland, McCullah, and Gilchrist) acted in various roles such as dealers, bankers or greeters, operating both a “low stakes” and “high stakes” poker tables. It is alleged that in order to generate income from at least 400 hands of poker played each week, Mitchell and co-conspirators took a “rake” (i.e., a percentage commission from the amount of money bet for each hand of poker dealt).

It is alleged that Teddy Mitchell also operated as a traditional bookmaker by taking sports bets for clients both in person and over the phone. Later, it is alleged, Teddy and Dryden Mitchell provided their betting clients a password to access a Costa Rican sports betting Internet website owned by Gortation Management. Gortation Management operates as a clearing house for bookies throughout the United States. Teddy and Dryden Mitchell are alleged to have recruited, enlisted, and managed sports betting clients on behalf of Gortation Management and provided a percentage of the money collected from their Internet sports betting clients to Gortation Management.

It is alleged that to further their gambling operation, defendants Teddy Mitchell, Dryden Mitchell, Loveland, Hancock, Gibb, and Gortation Management conspired to launder over $8.1 million in money derived from the gambling operation.

Hancock is alleged to have received numerous checks payable to Gortation Management from American clients who lost bets, including Teddy Mitchell’s clients, and used California check-cashing facilities to cash these checks.

Gibb is alleged to have acted as a bookie with signature authority on domestic financial accounts relating to Gortation Management. It is further alleged that Gibb received numerous checks for gambling losses of betting clients which were payable to Gortation Management and deposited into his accounts.

In addition, Teddy Mitchell owned and operated various companies, whose bank accounts were used to launder money generated from illegal gambling activities. Deposits in those business accounts were listed under the headings of “Gambling Income,” “Vending Games,” and “Poker” and were used to purchase vehicles and residential properties.

The indictment seeks a forfeiture money judgment of over $8.1 million and the forfeiture of 24 tracts of real property, multiple vehicles, and cash held in various accounts.

If convicted, defendants Teddy Mitchell, Dryden Mitchell, David Loveland, Richard Hancock, and Gary Gibb each face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Defendants Billy Mitchell, Jerry Gilchrist, Michael McCullah, and Justin Musgrove each face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case is the result of a joint investigation including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley L. Altshuler and Edward J. Kumiega.

The public is reminded that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Reference is made to the indictment for further information.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Members of Alleged Sports Betting Ring Charged with Racketeering

August 8, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 8, 2012 released the following:

“PHILADELPHIA—A 23-count indictment was unsealed today charging 16 defendants in a conspiracy case involving the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization, a multi-million-dollar sports betting operation with bettors throughout the U.S. At its peak, the alleged organization had more than 1,000 bettors and was generating millions of dollars a year. All but one defendant (Joanna Mastronardo) are charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise (RICO) and conducting an illegal gambling business. The indictment alleges that between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2011, the organization utilized Internet websites and telephone numbers that allowed bettors to place sports bets on football, baseball, basketball, golf, horse racing, and other sporting events. Residents of Costa Rica staffed the Internet and telephone sites. The defendants allegedly hid more than $1 million in and around their homes, including in specially-built compartments and in PVC pipes that were buried in a yard.

Charged are Joseph Vito Mastronardo, Jr. and John Mastronardo, the two alleged leaders; Joseph F. Mastronardo, Eric Woehlcke, Harry Murray, Joseph Vitelli, Anna Rose Vitelli, Patrick Tronoski, Edward Feighan, Kenneth Cohen, Schuyler Twaddle, Michael Loftus, Michael Squillante, David Rounick, Ronald Gendrachi; and Joanna Mastronardo, the wife of Joseph Mastronardo, Jr. All, with the exception of Twaddle, were arrested this morning.

The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, FBI Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos of the Philadelphia Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Eric Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman.

The indictment alleges that the defendants ran the organization using telephone, Skype, e-mail, text messaging, and in-person communication. They allegedly met bettors in-person, often in public buildings and parking lots, to collect or deliver payments that ranged from $1,000 to more than $100,000. The organization also allegedly used a gas station on Norristown Road in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, as a mailing address and drop-off site to collect gambling payments.

According to the indictment, members of the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization laundered the gambling proceeds using check cashing agencies, private bank accounts, and international bank accounts and provided instructions so that a losing bettor could pay a gambling debt through a charitable donation.

According to the indictment, leader Joseph V. Mastronardo, Jr. supervised the agents, sub-agents, websites (www.betroma.com and http://www.betrose.com), office employees; laundered some of the betting proceeds; collected debts; and instructed others to collect debts. Mastronardo’s brother, John, also a leader in the organization, supervised agents and sub-agents, laundered proceeds, and collected debts. John’s son, Joseph F. Mastronardo, worked as an office employee, collected debts, and performed other financial duties. Eric Woehlcke was initially a bookmaker and office employee, then worked as an office manager, and eventually became a leader supervising agents and sub-agents and laundering proceeds. Harry Murray was a bookmaker who resided in Florida and laundered proceeds in and outside the U.S. Joseph and Anna Rose Vitelli owned J&A Check Cashing where, in 2006, they allowed the organization to occupy an office for the illegal gambling business and which was also used to aid in the laundering of proceeds. Tronoski, Feighan, Cohen, Twaddle, Loftus, Squillante, Rounick, and Gendrachi were all bookmakers.

The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Joseph V. Mastronardo, Jr., in a conversation with bookmaker Harry Murray, commented, “Well, times like this I’m happy I’m a bookmaker,” to which Murray responded, “Me too.”

“Technology allowed the defendants to allegedly expand their gambling and money laundering operation far beyond the borders of Pennsylvania,” said Memeger. “Unfortunately for the defendants, however, we have the necessary statutory tools to investigate and prosecute those who openly flout our illegal gambling and financial reporting laws.”

“Illegal gambling and money laundering are the financial engines that help drive criminal enterprises like the one alleged today,” said Special Agent in Charge Venizelos. “The type of gambling activity charged here is illegal. These types of extensive and long-term joint investigative efforts, worked with our partners like the IRS and Montgomery County Detectives, are intended to dismantle criminal organizations that profit from illegal activities.”

“This alleged racketeering operation was anchored in Montgomery County but had tentacles spreading across the U.S. and beyond,” said D.A. Ferman. “Despite our attempt to shut it down in 2006-2007 with a Montgomery County prosecution, my office discovered that the defendants, as is alleged in the indictment, were back in business. We partnered with our federal counterparts to examine the full scope of the alleged illegal gambling operation. Today’s indictment reflects the work of many law enforcement agents across multiple agencies. These defendants tried to ‘game’ the system. Today, they crapped out.”

“The indictments announced today are the result of a significant and complex investigation,” said Special Agent in Charge Eric Hylton. “With both law enforcement and financial expertise, our agents are uniquely qualified to assist with these types of cases by following the trail of money. Our office will continue to work aggressively to identify and target illegal financial gains.”

Joanna Mastronardo is charged with one count of structuring in which it is alleged that she participated in making approximately 72 deposits in amounts less than $10,000, totaling more than $500,000 in a 12-month period.

Joseph V. Mastronardo, Jr. is charged in all 23 counts of the indictment. The remaining 14 defendants are each charged with the RICO conspiracy and with prohibition of illegal gambling. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of more than $6.3 million as alleged proceeds of the illegal enterprise.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason P. Bologna.

An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Five Alleged Members of the Bonanno Crime Family Arrested for Racketeering and Related Charges

January 30, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 27, 2012 released the following:

Defendants Include One Current and Two Former Members of the Bonanno Crime Family Administration

A 14-count superseding indictment was unsealed this morning in Brooklyn federal court charging five members of the Bonanno organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Bonanno family”) variously with racketeering, extortion, illegal gambling, and conspiring to distribute marijuana. An associate of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Gambino family”) was also charged with loansharking.[1] The defendants were arrested earlier today in New York and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States Chief District Court Judge Carol B. Amon.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Wilbert L. Plummer, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Field Division; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

As alleged in the indictment and a detention memorandum filed by the government today, defendant Vincent Badalamenti, also known as “Vinny TV,” is a made member of the Bonanno family and a current member of the family’s administration, who until his arrest, was the highest ranking member of the Bonanno family at liberty. Defendants Anthony Graziano, also known as “TG,” and Nicholas Santora, also known as “Nicky Mouth,” are captains in the Bonanno family and former members of the Bonanno family administration. Defendant Vito Balsamo is an acting captain in the Bonanno family, and defendant Anthony Calabrese is a soldier in the Bonanno family. The indictment is the result of a multi-year joint investigation by the DEA and FBI that utilized a variety of techniques to gather evidence, such as consensual recordings of the defendants discussing their charged crimes, cooperating witnesses who were formerly members and associates of organized crime, and surveillance. The evidence revealed a pattern of violence and intimidation employed by the defendants to further their enterprise’s economic interests, including Badalamenti allegedly directing the hostile takeover of a bar located on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, as a result of its owner’s failure to repay a debt owed to Badalamenti.

The charges in the indictment also demonstrate the recidivist nature of organized crime defendants. For example, as detailed in the government’s detention memorandum, Santora allegedly participated in his charged crimes following his prior conviction and incarceration, and while released on supervised release, and Graziano allegedly committed his charged crimes within weeks of being released to a federal halfway house. During one consensual recording, a cooperating witness (“CW”) told Graziano that during Graziano’s most recent prison term, the CW was sent to collect money from one of Graziano’s loanshark victims who “was crying hysterical.” The CW and Graziano also discussed how the CW was sent on multiple occasions to collect money from the same victim by a member of the Bonanno family’s ruling panel, to which Graziano responded, “Yeah, well, he was trying to collect my money.” On another occasion, Graziano allegedly directed the CW to meet a second extortion victim and “open him up.”

The charges and arrests announced today are the latest in an ongoing investigation that has resulted in the prosecution of more than 175 members and associates of the Bonanno family in the Eastern District of New York. Since March 2002, more than 10 Bonanno family bosses, acting bosses and administration members have been convicted in this district on racketeering and racketeering-related charges.

“Members of organized crime continue to exploit their victims the old-fashioned way—through violence, threats, and intimidation. Learning nothing from their incarceration, two of the defendants allegedly sought to regain their money and influence on the street while still under federal supervision. But because they learned nothing, they find themselves back in custody again, along with their co-defendants,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “As law enforcement has so successfully done before, we will employ our own time-tested techniques to bring them to justice to account for their crimes. We will not rest in this pursuit until the Bonanno crime family and La Cosa Nostra have been completely dismantled.”

DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Plummer stated, “These arrests prove that justice comes to those who have abused the system. The five defendants arrested with RICO charges will face the consequences of their alleged illegal actions in the court of law. The New York Drug Enforcement Task Force worked diligently with the United States Attorney’s Office in order to keep our city and state crime free.” Mr. Plummer thanked the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force which comprises agents and officers of the DEA, New York State Police and the New York City Police Department for their hard work on this investigation.

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Fedarcyk stated, “Today’s charges confirm that La Cosa Nostra families continue to engage in the bedrock money-making activities like extortion and loansharking, and are not shy about resorting to violence as a method. As long as mobsters continue their predatory ways, the FBI will continue to target the mob.”

NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “This case demonstrates that the FBI, DEA, and NYPD in partnership with federal prosecutors, are relentless and will continue to dismantle organized crime and protect the public from its insidious effects.”

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole M. Argentieri and Stephen E. Frank.

The Defendants:

VINCENT BADALAMENTI Age: 53

VITO BALSAMO Age: 55

ANTHONY CALABRESE Age: 44

ANTHONY GRAZIANO Age: 71

JAMES LAFORTE Age: 35

NICHOLAS SANTORA Age: 69

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Members of Alleged Asian Organized Crime Organization Appear in Federal Court Today

July 12, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts on July 12, 2011 released the following:

“Detention Hearing Scheduled for Five Defendants Today at Noon

BOSTON, Mass. – Five federal defendants are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston today, following a multi-year federal investigation into their roles in illegal activity in Chinatown and elsewhere. A total of 26 individuals from Massachusetts, Florida and Rhode Island have been indicted in connection with the alleged organized crime conspiracy.

According to court filings, the FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force led a long-term investigation into drug-trafficking, illegal gambling, extortion, prostitution, and other criminal activity in the Chinatown area of Boston and elsewhere. The investigation included court-authorized wire surveillance of cellular telephones for seven months, including the cell phones of five of the defendants. The investigation to date has resulted in the seizure of more than $340,000, thirteen firearms and approximately 12,000 pills of suspected oxycodone. Investigators also uncovered extensive evidence of illegal gambling and prostitution, and the use of extortionate threats to collect loans to gamblers and others.

“Organized crime can paralyze or seriously disrupt small communities, particularly close-knit neighborhoods like Chinatown,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “This criminal organization is alleged to have trafficked large amounts of drugs, threatened and beat up individuals who failed to pay off large illegal debts, and moved women around the country to work in their brothels.”

“We encourage the victims of these alleged crimes to contact us to assist in protecting the community and prosecuting those responsible,” added U.S. Attorney Ortiz. “We are very fortunate in Massachusetts to have dedicated prosecutors, agents and local law enforcement who challenge themselves and creatively leverage resources to work these multi-faceted complex investigations.”

Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, said, “The indictments and arrests stemming from this operation send a clear message to those involved in organized crime organizations everywhere: The FBI and its law enforcement partners will pursue those who engage in drug dealing, illegal gambling, extortion and exploitation of women regardless of the geographic boundaries.”

SAC DesLauriers added, “In this case, law enforcement’s jurisdictional reach and investigative tenacity culminated in the arrest of multiple individuals. The methodical nature and duration of this investigation reflects our collective dedicated effort to secure justice for the victims. Organized crime groups are emerging from every corner of the globe. Through our task-force and intelligence based model, we will use every tool at our disposal to disrupt and dismantle organized criminal enterprises.”

In late May, 13 men and women were charged in the first of three indictments with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, marijuana and human growth hormone in the Massachusetts, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere. According to an affidavit filed in connection with detention proceedings, John Willis, 40, of Dorchester, also known as “Bac Guai John” (“White Devil John”), the leader of this drug-trafficking conspiracy, has a long history of involvement in Asian organized crime.

The following were also charged in the drug-trafficking conspiracy with Willis: Brant Welty, 39, Kevin Baranowski, 41, and Bridget Welty, 38, all of Boston; Vincent Alberico, 29, of Centerville, Mass.; Peter Melendez, 50, of Sunrise, Florida; Aibun Eng, 38,and Steven Le, 21, both of Quincy; Brian Bowes, 42, and Michael Clemente, 29, both of Sunrise, Florida; Michael Shaw, 39, of Wilton Manors, Florida; Mark Thompson, 28, of Davie, Florida; and Anevay Duffy, 25, of Cumberland, Rhode Island. Alberico is also charged with assaulting a federal official who was performing his official duties.

With the exception of Melendez, the defendants in this matter have been arrested. Willis, Le, and Alberico have been detained pending trial. Brant Welty remains in custody pending the court’s decision on the government’s motion for detention and Baranowski remains in custody pending a detention hearing on July 14. Alberico is in state custody.

If convicted on these charges, Willis and Baranowski face up to 30 years in federal prison. Each of the remaining defendants faces up to 20 years in federal prison to be followed by up to a life term of supervised release, and $1 million fine. In addition, Alberico also faces up to eight years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for the assault charge.

On June 30, 13 additional defendants were charged in two separate indictments. One of the indictments charged Minh Cam Luong, 46, Vapeng Joe, 44, Hin Pau, 45, Judy Huyen Truong, 41, and Hui Zhou, 24, all of Quincy; Jian Ming Chen, 38, of Brighton; Elburke Lamson, 47, of Chelsea; Tan Ngo, 54, of Waltham; Songzeng Cao, 28, of Malden; and Yao Zheng Cao, 23, of Somerville, for operating an illegal gambling business since January 2010. That business has been based, since November 2010, at a illegal gambling den at 17-23 Beach Street in Chinatown. Luong, Pau, Songzeng Cao, Yao Zheng Cao and Zhou were also charged with using extortionate means, including threats or actual use of violence, to collect debts, including debts owed to the illegal gambling business. With the exception of Lamson and Truong, all defendants are currently in custody pending detention hearings. Five defendants are expected to have detention hearings today at noon.

According to a court filing, Luong and Ngo were both members of Chinatown’s Ping On Gang in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Gang was vying for control of crime in Chinatown. Both were convicted on federal charges including heroin trafficking, and both have served sentences in federal prison.

If convicted on these charges, each of the defendants faces up to five years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on the illegal gambling business charge. Luong, Pau, Cao, Cao, and Zhou also face up to 20 years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for each count of using extortionate means to collect extensions of credit.

Lastly, Wei Xing Chen, 50, of Cambridge, and Yue Q. He, age unknown, of Boston, were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and 1-benzylpiperazine, both also known as ecstasy, and possession with intent to distribute 1-benzylpiperazine. In addition, Chen, He and Xiaohong Xue, 41, also of Cambridge, were charged in the same indictment with conspiring to induce travel to engage in prostitution. Chen, who operated brothels in Cambridge and Boston, is currently in custody. Arrest warrants have been issued for He and Xue.

If convicted on the drug charges, Chen and He face up to 20 years in federal prison to be followed by at least three years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine on each count. In addition, if convicted of prostitution conspiracy, each of the defendants faces up to five years in federal prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

According to the affidavit, Willis and several of his co-defendants frequented Chen’s brothels and Luong’s gambling den. Employees of Luong’s gambling business frequented Chen’s brothels. Some of Luong’s employees, including Joe, associated with Willis.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz; FBI SAC DesLauriers; William P. Offord; Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Division; Bruce Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis made the announcement today.

The cases were investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, DEA, ICE Homeland Security Investigations, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Department of Correction, and Quincy, Cambridge, Medford, Boston and New York City Police Departments. Assistance was also received from the Broward County (Fla..) Sheriff’s Office and the Ridgeland and Dillon Police Departments in South Carolina. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy E. Moran and Richard L. Hoffman of Ortiz’s Strike Force Unit.

The details contained in the indictments are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Nearly 130 Alleged Mobsters Arrested in FBI Sweep

January 20, 2011

According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice, ninety-one alleged members and associates of seven organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra (LCN), including the New England LCN family, all five New York-based families and the New Jersey-based Decavalcante family have been charged with federal crimes in 16 indictments returned in four judicial districts. Another 36 individuals also have been charged for their roles in alleged associated criminal activity.

Individuals have been charged in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Newark, and Providence. Most were arrested before 8:00am this morning.

More than 110 of the 127 charged individuals have been arrested, and will appear in federal court in the districts in which they are charged. The charges relate to a wide range of alleged illegal activity, including murder, murder conspiracy, loansharking, arson, narcotics trafficking, extortion, robbery, illegal gambling and labor racketeering, in some cases occurring over decades. The indictments charge alleged leaders of these criminal enterprises, as well as mid-level managers, numerous soldiers and associates, and others alleged to be corrupt union officials.

Among those charged are Luigi Manocchio, 83, the alleged former boss of the New England LCN; Andrew Russo, 76, alleged street boss of the Colombo family; Benjamin Castellazzo, 73, alleged acting underboss of the Colombo family; Richard Fusco, 74, alleged consigliere of the Colombo family; Joseph Corozzo, 69, alleged consigliere of the Gambino family; and Bartolomeo Vernace, 61, an alleged member of the Gambino family administration. In total, more than 30 alleged official members of the LCN were charged in the indictments unsealed today.

The charges carry a variety of maximum penalties, up to life in prison on certain charges.

The indictments are available here.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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