News and Press Releases

Bonanno Organized Crime Family Acting Boss and Three Soldiers Plead Guilty to Murder Conspiracy and Other Charges

August 06, 2008

Earlier today, four members of the Bonanno organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to murder conspiracy and other charges. As a part of their guilty pleas, Bonanno family acting boss MICHAEL MANCUSO, also known as “Michael the Nose,” and soldier ANTHONY AIELLO, also known as “Ace” and “T,” acknowledged their roles in the 2004 murder of Randolph Pizzolo, and soldiers ANTHONY INDELICATO, also known as “Bruno,” and ANTHONY DONATO, also known as “Little Anthony,” admitted to their involvement in the 2001 murder of Frank Santoro.

The guilty pleas were announced by Benton J. Campbell, 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 Division.

As described in the indictment and in various court filings, AIELLO shot and killed Randolph Pizzolo in Brooklyn on November 30, 2004. The murder was ordered by MANCUSO and Vincent Basciano. On the night of the murder, AIELLO and his accomplices lured Pizzolo to an industrial section of Brooklyn, where AIELLO shot and killed him.

Frank Santoro was shot and killed on February 15, 2001, while he was walking his dog in the Bronx. Santoro’s murder was ordered by Basciano, then a Bonanno soldier, who believed that Santoro was plotting to kidnap one of Basciano’s sons. To carry out the murder, Basciano recruited several other Bonanno members and associates, including INDELICATO and DONATO, and then made plans to ambush Santoro near his Bronx home. INDELICATO and DONATO served as drivers, and it was DONATO’s vehicle that carried the shooters, who included Basciano.

Since March 2004, more than 100 Bonanno family members and associates have been prosecuted in the Eastern District of New York, including boss Joseph Massino, and each of his successors — Anthony Urso, Basciano, and now MANCUSO. MANCUSO is the third acting boss of an organized crime family convicted in the Eastern District during the past 12 months.

“Our message to the mob could not be clearer: Regardless of whether you pull the trigger, assist the shooter, or issue the order to kill, you will be held accountable,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. Mr. Campbell thanked the Queens County District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Police Department for their assistance in the case.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “A popular misconception is that mob violence is a thing of the past; that today’s gangsters are more genteel criminals. And yet, the reality is that the mob still employs mayhem and murder to extort, coerce, discipline, punish, or deter. The FBI remains committed to policing organized crime not merely because the mob is criminal, but because the mob is murderous.”

Pursuant to the terms of their plea agreements, the defendants are expected to be sentenced to the following terms of imprisonment: AIELLO, 30 years; DONATO, 25 years; INDELICATO, 20 years; and MANCUSO, 15 years.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey A. Goldberg, Taryn A. Merkl, and Nicole M. Argentieri.

The Defendants:

Age: 61

Age: 53

Age: 50

Age: 31

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