News and Press Releases

Bonanno Family Captain, Soldier and Three Associates Charged with Racketeering, Loansharking, Illegal Gambling, Assault and Robbery Conspiracies

November 02, 2005

ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, today announced the filing of a superseding indictment charging Bonanno family captain DOMINICK CICALE, Bonanno family soldier ANTHONY AIELLO, and Bonanno family associates VINCENZO MASI, FRANK ESPOSITO, and EUGENE GALLO with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, loansharking and illegal gambling. CICALE, AIELLO, and MASI are also charged with assault in aid of racketeering. Previously, CICALE, AIELLO, and Bonanno family acting boss VINCENT BASCIANO were charged in the underlying indictment with the December 1, 2004, murder of Randolph Pizzolo, and other crimes.1

MASI, ESPOSITO, and GALLO will be arraigned later today before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy, at the U. S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis. CICALE and AIELLO will be arraigned on the new charges at a later date.

As alleged in the indictment and the government's letter seeking the pre-trial detention of MASI, the assault charge against CICALE, AIELLO, and MASI arises from the brutal beating of an individual, identified in the superseding indictment as "John Doe #1," who owed money to a bookmaking operation run by ESPOSITO. In the autumn of 2004, CICALE threatened "John Doe #1" with physical injury if he failed to pay several thousand dollars. When John Doe #1 failed to meet the deadline, CICALE ordered the assault. During the early morning hours of November 12, 2004, MASI and AIELLO confronted "John Doe #1" outside his home and severely beat him with hammers, fracturing his skull.

The other new charges against defendants CICALE and AIELLO are racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of murder (Pizzolo), loansharking, illegal gambling and robbery conspiracy, and substantive loansharking and illegal gambling charges. MASI, ESPOSITO, and GALLO are charged with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of loansharking and illegal gambling, as well as parallel substantive charges.

If convicted of all charges, MASI faces a maximum sentence in excess of 100 years in prison, and ESPOSITO and GALLO face maximum sentences of 85 years in prison. If convicted of the murder of Pizzolo, BASCIANO, CICALE, and AIELLO face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, or the death penalty.

"We are continuing our pursuit of the Bonanno family and its leaders. Our goal is to shut down this criminal enterprise and end the threat it poses to our communities," stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. "We have now charged more than 70 members and associates of the Bonanno crime family, including virtually every high-ranking member. Our investigations into organized criminal activity are active and ongoing."

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge MERSHON stated, "This case is further evidence of the mob's reliance on acts of craven violence to further their money-making schemes. It also demonstrates that even as the mob seeks new and sophisticated ways to generate income, it sticks with the tried and true rackets of loansharking and bookmaking. Whatever the racket, the FBI will uncover it and put handcuffs on the racketeers."

The government's case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas J. Seigel, John D. Buretta and Bridget Rohde.


The New Defendants:

Name: Vincenzo MasiAlias: "Vinny"
DOB: 2/22/76

Name: Frank EspositoAlias: "Fat Frank"
DOB: 1/17/55

Name: Eugene GalloAlias: "Gene"
DOB: 9/28/71



1 The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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