News and Press Releases

Colombo Organized Crime Family Captain and Five Associates Indicted for Racketeering and Other Offenses

March 27, 2008

A superseding indictment was unsealed this morning in Brooklyn federal court charging MICHAEL UVINO, BRIAN DONO and THOMAS FRANZESE with multiple crimes, including racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, PHILIP COSTANZA and JOHN TRIPI with kidnaping and assault in aid of racketeering, and ROBERT DEY with illegal gambling. UVINO, COSTANZA, and DONO were previously charged with assault in aid of racketeering.1 FRANZESE and DEY were arrested earlier today in New York and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. The case has been assigned to United States Senior District Judge Jack B. Weinstein.

The charges 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 Office.

As alleged in the indictment, UVINO is a captain in the Colombo organized crime family, and COSTANZA, DONO, FRANZESE, TRIPI, and DEY are Colombo family associates. The racketeering charges identify predicate acts that include kidnaping, robbery conspiracy, extortion conspiracy, and illegal gambling. In addition, the indictment alleges 10 substantive charges, including illegal gambling, robbery conspiracy, kidnaping and assault in aid of racketeering, and use of a firearm in a crime of violence. According to a detention memorandum filed by the government in this case, the defendants resorted to violence to further their criminal enterprise. Specifically, UVINO, DONO, COSTANZA, and TRIPI allegedly kidnaped and assaulted two individuals they believed had set up a robbery of a Colombo-controlled poker club; UVINO, DONO, and COSTANZA held firearms to the heads of their victims; and UVINO pistol-whipped them.

If convicted, the defendants face the following maximum sentences: UVINO, COSTANZA, DONO, and TRIPI – life imprisonment, FRANZESE – 20 years’ imprisonment, and DEY – five years’ imprisonment.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paige Petersen and Elizabeth Geddes.

The Defendants:

Age: 42

Age: 44

Age: 39

Age: 38

Age: 59

Age: 55




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

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