Feds Bust Mobsters, Alleged Dirty NY Cop for Old-School Mafia Gambling Ring

  • Eight alleged Bonanno, Genovese members are indicted for racketeering, gambling offenses
  • The families allegedly teamed up to run the illegal operation from a Nassau County coffee shop
  • Feds have accused an allegedly crooked cop of taking money for organizing raids on rival dens
  • The men also stand accused of operating illicit poker games, gambling machines in soccer clubs 
Police line in NYC
Two of New York’s five crime families are back in the spotlight after eight mobsters and an allegedly dirty cop all got charged in a Brooklyn court for illegal gambling offenses. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Illegal gambling ring

Feds have charged eight alleged members of New York’s two leading crime families plus a supposedly crooked Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) detective for an illegal gambling ring. Prosecutors say the old-school betting operation hearkens back to an era when the Mafia was in its prime.

police arrested the alleged Genovese and Bonanno mobsters Tuesday

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (USAO-EDNY), authorities arrested the alleged Genovese and Bonanno mobsters Tuesday. The USA-EDNY took to Twitter to share the charges against the suspects, including racketeering, money laundering conspiracy, and illegal gambling offenses:

According to prosecutors, the arrests bring the curtain down on an unusual partnership between two of NY City’s notorious Five Families who teamed up to run the gambling operation. They have operated the betting ring since at least May 2012 from headquarters in a coffee shop in Nassau County.

Feds have also indicted NCPD cop Hector Rosario for accepting money from the Bonanno crime family.

Alleged captain caught

One of the big fish netted in the bust is Carmelo “Carmine” Polito, the alleged acting captain of the Genovese crime family. Authorities hit Polito with an additional charge of running an illegal online sports betting operation via a website named PGW Lines.

2022 has not proven a great year for the Genovese. In April, six members of the NY crime family were arrested on illegal gambling and extortion charges.

Polito and five other suspects — “Sal the Shoemaker” Rubino, Joseph “Joe Fish” Macario, Mark Feuer, Agostino Gabriele, and Anthony “Little Anthony” Pipitone — pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Brookyn federal court. These six were freed on bail that ranged from $150,000 to $2m.

Police arrested suspected Bonanno soldier Vito Pipitone in Florida on Tuesday. An eighth defendant, accused Genovese associate Joseph “Joe Box” Rutigliano, remains at large.

The ninth defendant is police officer Rosario. The feds have accused Rosario of taking money for arranging police raids at rival gambling dens. He was indicted for lying to the FBI and obstructing a grand jury investigation by the USAO-EDNY.

Classic Mafia fronts

In addition to betting, the Bonanno-Genovese tie-up also included the operation of illicit poker games and gambling machines. Multiple soccer clubs served as venues for the scheme, including La Nazionale Soccer Club in Queens, and Centro Calcio Italiano Club in West Babylon. Another front, named Sal’s Shoe Repair, was also listed in the DOJ’s indictments and other court filings.

In an official DOJ news release, US Attorney for the EDNY, Breon Peace, said that Tuesday’s arrests:

demonstrate that the Mafia continues to pollute our communities with illegal gambling.”

District Attorney for Nassau County DA’s Office, Anne T. Donnelly, said the violent criminal networks ran “secret underground gambling parlors in local commercial establishments.” She said the criminals generated “substantial amounts of money in back rooms while families unknowingly shopped and ate mere feet away.”