New York, NY(Law Firm Newswire) August 15, 2017 – In a sweeping organized crime bust, New York investigators arrested 19 people who are alleged leaders and members of the notorious Lucchese crime family.
The defendants were charged with a wide range of crimes including narcotics distribution, wire fraud, money laundering, murder, gambling and robbery. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the charges were linked to a racketeering scheme that ran in New York between 2000 and May 2017. The NYPD and the FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force carried out the crackdown.
“Charges related to organized crime are very serious and carry the likelihood of severe penalties,” said Peter Brill, a New York criminal defense attorney with Brill Legal Group. “Because they involve multiple defendants, such cases tend to be complicated. As a result, it is necessary to have an aggressive defense team that is undeterred by the complexity of these types of charges.”
The Lucchese family is among five mafia organizations that have a long history of operating in New York. They are part of La Cosa Nostra, an organized criminal network that started in Italy.
One of the key defendants is Matthew Madonna, 81, an alleged street boss for the Lucchese family. He allegedly ran the crime organization while its leader was in prison. Also named in the indictment are suspected underboss Steven Crea Sr., 69, and alleged consigliere Joseph DiNapoli, 81.
Authorities said the trio of high-ranking leaders comprise the Lucchese family’s administration. The other defendants are Joseph Datello, 66, and Paul Cassano, 38, with the respective nicknames “Joey Glasses” and “Paulie Roast Beef.” Federal agents arrested 15 defendants in various areas around New York and New Jersey. The other four people were already in custody on other charges.
The indictment also described two alleged attempted assaults. The first incident involving a Bonanno family associate took place in 2012 and the second occurred in October 2016. The victim in the latter case experienced retaliation for sharing information with law enforcement. Five of the defendants were also allegedly involved in the November 2013 murder of notorious gangster Michael Meldish in the Bronx.
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