News and Press Releases

Bonanno Family Acting Underboss, Acting Consigliere and 17 Capos, Soldiers, and Associates Indicted for Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, and Other Charges

February 6, 2007

A superseding indictment was unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn charging nineteen members and associates of the Bonanno organized crime family of La Costa Nostra, including two members of the Bonanno family’s administration – Bonanno family acting underboss NICHOLAS SANTORA and Bonanno family acting consigliere ANTHONY RABITO. This superseding indictment is the latest in an ongoing investigation that has resulted in the prosecution of more than 100 members and associates of the Bonanno family in the Eastern District of New York. Since March 2002, three Bonanno family bosses or acting bosses have been convicted in this district on racketeering and racketeering-related charges, which include murder or murder conspiracy as a racketeering act – Joseph Massino, Anthony Urso, and Vincent Basciano. A fourth Bonanno family acting boss, Michael Mancuso, is awaiting trial. To date, fifteen members of the Bonanno family administration have been charged; thirteen of whom have pled guilty or been convicted after trial of racketeering related crimes. Since the commencement of this investigation, more than seventy members and associates of the Bonanno family have either pled guilty or been convicted after trial.

The new superseding indictment includes charges against Bonanno family administration members NICHOLAS SANTORA and ANTHONY RABITO, captains or former captains JEROME ASARO, JOSEPH CAMMARANO, Jr., and LOUIS DECICCO, Bonanno family soldiers GIACOME BONVENTRE, MICHAEL CASSESE, PAUL SPINA, and MICHAEL VIRTUOSO, and Bonanno family associates TRACEY BADGETT, JOHN COMPONO, ANTHONY DEFILIPPO, ANTHONY DIGIOVANNA, CHRISTOPHER MERZ, JOSEPH ROSSETTI, ROBERT SCHWICHRATH, PATRICK TARSIO, and ANTHONY VIVELO alleging crimes including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, illegal gambling, extortion and extortion conspiracy, loansharking, securities fraud, and narcotics distribution.1

The defendants will be arraigned later today before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza West, Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Sandra A. Townes.

The charges were announced by Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard A. Brown, Queens County District Attorney,Mark J. Mershon, 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 superseding the indictment and the government’s detention memorandum, SANTORA and RABITO currently serve in the Bonanno family administration, and both have long criminal histories. Indeed, the charges make clear that as the Bonanno family adapts to fill the ranks of those members and associates previously convicted, the family has not abandoned its use of violence. The charges filed result from a variety of investigative techniques employed, including extensive court-authorized wiretaps – both state and federal – and consensual recordings. Among others, a member of the Bonanno family who is cooperating with the government recorded conversations with several members and associates of the Bonanno family. This individual is the twelfth made member of the Bonanno family to cooperate with this Office, and the fourth to consensually record conversations with members and associates of the Bonanno family. Approximately five years ago, this investigation resulted in the first made member of the Bonanno family agreeing to testify for the government in the Bonanno family’s more than seventy-year history.

“This longstanding investigation has to led to the prosecution and conviction of the most senior and most violent members and associates of the Bonanno family, and it will continue until that criminal enterprise is put out of business,” stated United States AttorneyMauskopf. “Today’s indictment is the result of our continuing coordination with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, whose partnership in the fight against organized crime we truly value.”

Queens County District Attorney Brown stated, “Today’s indictment underscores the commitment of law enforcement agencies in this City to ensuring that our streets and citizens are safe from the violence and corruption associated with organized crime. The District Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on all levels of government to investigate, prosecute, and dismantle such criminal organizations.”

  FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “The results of the FBI’s assault on La Cosa Nostra have been nowhere more visible than with the Bonanno family. But the need for continued pressure and continued vigilance is also nowhere more evident. As each administration is swept up and sent away to long prison terms, a new hierarchy assumes the reigns of leadership in the family. Our efforts have the mob reeling, but our objective is to deliver the knockout punch.”

New York City Police Commissioner Kelly stated, “This is another outstanding example of how the NYPD and its federal partners collaborated at the expense of organized crime.”

If convicted of racketeering or racketeering conspriacy, defendants JEROME ASARO, JOSEPH CAMMARANO, MICHAEL CASSESE, LOUIS DECICCO, ANTHONY DEFILIPPO, CHRISTOPHER MERZ, ANTHONY RABITO, NICHOLAS SANTORA, PAUL SPINA, PATRICK TARSIO, MICHAEL VIRTUOSO, and ANTHONY VIVELO face a maximum term of imprionment of twenty years. If convicted of securities fraud, defendants JOSEPH ROSSETTI and ROBERT SCHWICHRATH face a maximum term of imprionment of twenty years. If convicted of extortion, defendants AGOSTINO ACCARDO, JOHN COMPONO, and ANTHONY DIGIOVANNA face a maximum term of imprionment of twenty years. If convicted of illegal gambling, TRACEY BADGETT and GIACOMO BONVENTRE face a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Greg Andres, Amy Busa, and Winston Chan, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Dana Brubaker, an Assistant District Attorney from the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.

New Defendants:

JEROME ASARO, also known as “Jerry”
DOB:  March 30, 1958

TRACEY BADGETT, also known as “T-Bone”
DOB:  February 22, 1965

GIACOMO BONVENTRE, also known as “Jack”
DOB:  May 30, 1968

JOSEPH CAMMARANO, JR., also known as “Joe C., Jr.” and “Joe Saunders, Jr.”
DOB:  October 26, 1959

DOB:  October 4, 1959

LOUIS DECICCO, also known as “Louie Electric”
DOB:  March 9, 1946

DOB:  April 29, 1970

ANTHONY DIGIOVANNA, also known as “Nino”
DOB:  May 5, 1936

DOB:  August 7, 1970

ANTHONY RABITO, also known as “Fat Anthony”
DOB:  January 27, 1934

DOB:  December 8, 1968

NICHOLAS SANTORA, also known as “Nicky Mouth”
DOB:  June 21, 1942

ROBERT SCHWICHRATH, also known as “Bobby Cash Deals” and “Doc”
DOB:  August 20, 1955

PAUL SPINA, also known as “Fat Paulie”
DOB:  March 21, 1955

PATRICK TARSIO, also known as “Patty Boy”
DOB:  March 30, 1976

ANTHONY VIVELO, also known as “Anthony the Bookmaker”
DOB:  July 10, 1971




1 The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. In the first indictment returned in this matter, Bonanno family soldiers Michael Cassese and Michael Virtuoso and Bonanno family associate Agostino Accardo were charged.

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