Superseding Indictment Unsealed Charging Organized Crime Members for Their Roles in Four “Cold Case” Murders, Including the 1997 Murder of New York City Police Officer Ralph Dols and the 1999 Murder of Mob Underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo
A twenty-four count superseding indictment charging members and associates of the Colombo organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Colombo family”) – including former acting boss Thomas Gioeli, former consigliere Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace, captain Dino Calabro, and soldier Dino Saracino – with murder and racketeering was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn.1 Specifically, the indictment charges defendants Cacace, Calabro, and Saracino with the 1997 murder of NYPD Officer Ralph Dols; defendants Gioeli, Calabro, and Saracino with the 1999 murder of Colombo underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo; defendant Gioeli with the 1995 murder of Richard Greaves; and defendant Calabro with the murder of Carmine Gargano in 1994.
The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, December 19, 2008, before United States District Judge Brian M. Cogan at the U.S. Courthouse, 271 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.
The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Raymond W. Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner.
The indictment announced today is the product of a lengthy investigation of the Colombo crime family, and specifically, the previously unsolved murder of Police Officer Dols. The indictment and a detention memorandum filed by the government document a series of murders committed by the Colombo family, including:
The Murder of Police Officer Ralph Dols
Cacace, Calabro, and Saracino are charged with the murder in aid of racketeering of NYPD Officer Ralph Dols on August 25, 1997. At the time of his death, Dols was assigned to Police Service Area #1 in Brooklyn, and was married to the ex-wife of Cacace. On the night of the murder, Calabro and Saracino waited for Dols to return to his home in Brooklyn. As Dols parked his car in front of his building, Calabro and Saracino shot him multiple times, leaving Dols lying gravely wounded on the street. Dols died a short time later from the gun shot wounds.
According to the government’s detention memorandum, Cacace ordered the hit.
The Murder of William Cutolo
The indictment charges Gioeli, Calabro, and Saracino with the murder in aid of racketeering of William Cutolo in May of 1999. Cutolo was shot to death in Saracino’s basement apartment, and his body was buried in Farmingdale, Long Island, where it was recovered on October 6, 2008. At the time of his murder, Cutolo was the underboss of the Colombo family and allegedly was killed because the acting boss at the time, Alphonse Persico, and Colombo family administration member, John DeRoss, were concerned that Cutolo had become too powerful and would attempt to take over the family.
The Murder of Richard Greaves
Gioeli is charged with participating in the murder in aid of racketeering of Colombo family associate Richard Greaves. Greaves was shot to death in Saracino’s basement apartment in Brooklyn in approximately August of 1995. Greaves was last seen on August 3, 1995, and his body has not been recovered.
The Murder of Carmine Gargano
Calabro is charged with ordering the murder of 21-year-old Carmine Gargano, who was last seen in July 1994. Gargano was shot to death at a Brooklyn “chop shop,” and his body has not been recovered.
“Today’s charges reflect federal law enforcement’s relentless campaign to hold the members and associates of organized crime responsible for their crimes,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. “The passage of time will not deter us in our commitment to bring mob murderers, particularly those who strike at public servants such as Police Officer Dols, to justice.”
NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “The murder of a police officer is an attack on society at-large. That’s why law enforcement, be it federal or local, never rests in the pursuit of killers of police officers. The NYPD never forgot the murder of Police Officer Ralph Dols. Neither did the FBI, nor the federal prosecutors who produced this welcome indictment.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “The charges announced today underline two points. Mob families don’t exist in order to commit murder, but they often commit murder to maintain their existence. And justice delayed is not justice denied. No matter how long it takes, the FBI will be relentless in the investigation of mob murders.”
If convicted of murder in aid of racketeering, Cacace, Gioeli, Calabro, and Saracino face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, or possibly the death penalty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Geddes, James Gatta, and Cristina Posa, and by Special Assistant United States Attorney Doug Leff.
The Defendants Named in the New Charges:
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