Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 27, 2012 – Two members of a New York organized crime family pleaded guilty in February 2012 to racketeering and conspiracy charges arising out of their involvement in the recruiting of illegal immigrants to work in strip clubs, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested and charged Alphonse Truccio and Christopher Colon after an investigation in conjunction with the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Truccio was a captain in the Gambino family and Colon was a member of his crew, or a “soldier,” according to ICE.
Truccio, 34, and Colon, 37, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges. Colon was charged with strip club extortion, conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens and visa fraud conspiracy.
Owners and managers as well as others connected to several strip clubs were arrested on November 30, 2011 as part of the visa and marriage fraud scheme involving organized crimes families. More than 20 people were charged in a conspiracy that helped Russian and Eastern European women enter the United States illegally. Some of the Eastern European and Russian women were promised jobs as waitresses as well as other positions that were included on visa applications. Once the women arrived in the U.S., they were put to work as dancers in strip clubs overseen by the Bonnano and Gambino crime families. Many of the women brought into the United States illegally were then paired with U.S. citizens in sham marriages to give the women legal status, according to ICE.
“Organized crime families have now branched out into the international sex trade,” said Dallas immigration lawyer Stewart Rabinowitz. “The sheer scope of the criminal enterprise is substantial, including not only sex trade trafficking, but also marriage and immigration fraud.”
“Apparently, New York has become a sex trade center,” Rabinowitz said. “No doubt federal investigative efforts will be ongoing.”
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