U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
March 1, 2011
Click superseding indictment link to read the indictment in pdf file
ALLEGED NEW ENGLAND LA COSA NOSTRA MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES CHARGED IN SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT WITH RACKETEERING AND OTHER CRIMES
Superseding Indictment Includes New Defendants and Charges Related to January 2011 Nationwide Takedown of Organized Crime Figures
PROVIDENCE, RI – Four alleged members and associates of the New England La Cosa Nostra (LCN), including an alleged former boss, were charged with crimes involving racketeering, extortion and related crimes in a superseding indictment unsealed today in Providence, R.I.
The superseding indictment charges alleged longtime New England LCN boss Luigi Manocchio, 83, aka “Louie,” aka “Baby Shacks,” aka “the Professor,” and aka “the Old Man; and alleged associate Thomas Iafrate, 61, with racketeering conspiracy, extortion conspiracy and extortion. Richard Bonafiglia, 57; and Theodore Cardillo, 67, are charged with racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy. Manocchio and Iafrate were charged previously in an indictment unsealed on January 20, 2010.
The superseding indictment alleges that for more than two decades, the defendants and others extorted local adult bookstores and nightclubs for monthly “protection” payments by promoting a climate of fear through threats of force and violence, among other illegal activity.
The superseding indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; Steven M. Pare, Providence Public Safety Commissioner; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI.)
The Department of Justice announced charges against 127 individuals, including 91 alleged leaders, members and associates – including Manocchio and Iafrate - of LCN families in four districts on Jan. 20, 2011, as part of a coordinated enforcement action against the LCN.
“As Attorney General Holder stated in New York earlier this year, battling organized crime remains a priority for the Department of Justice. Unchecked, it extends its tentacles into our citizens’ everyday lives. This office will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local investigative partners and our colleagues in the Justice Department’s criminal division to deal with this threat,” said U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. “This indictment is the result of a multi-year investigation in which my office has worked closely with the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section in Washington. I also want to acknowledge the excellent work of investigators in this case, from the FBI, the Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department. I have seen no better example of federal, state and local law enforcement cooperation.”
“Today’s arrests and charges are among a series of recent blows to organized crime across the country, including in Rhode Island,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “This indictment comes on the heels of last month’s takedown of over 100 defendants associated with Armenian Power and other transnational organized crime groups, and of our historic enforcement action in January against nearly 100 La Cosa Nostra members and associates. If the mafia thought they could operate in the shadows and get away with it, they now know better. Our recent and sustained efforts leave no doubt that we are pursuing La Cosa Nostra and other violent organized crime groups aggressively.”
Bonafiglia and Cardillo were arrested Tuesday by agents from the FBI, and made initial appearances in federal court before District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin. Cardillo was released on $50,000 unsecured bond and was ordered to have no contact with the business, employees or owners of any adult entertainment establishments. Bonafiglia was detained, pending a bail hearing on March 10, 2011. Manocchio was arrested in Miami on Jan. 19, 2011, and was removed to Rhode Island, where he continues to be detained pending a bail hearing on March 8, 2011. Iafrate was arrested in Providence on Jan. 20, 2011, and released on bail.
“The investigation that led to today’s indictment is an example of the cooperative efforts of the Providence Organized Crime Task Force,” said Special Agent in Charge DesLauriers of the FBI’s Boston Field Office. “The combined decades of investigative experience and knowledge of La Cosa Nostra of the Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police Department, IRS, FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office resulted in this extraordinary investigation. In Rhode Island, and throughout New England, organized crime will continue to be a top criminal priority of the FBI. Our joint efforts will continue to disrupt and dismantle national and transnational criminal syndicates. Through our task-force and intelligence based model, we will use every capability and tool we have at our disposal to target the NELCN and other similar organized crime groups.”
Today’s superseding indictment alleges that Manocchio received monthly protection payments, paid in cash by the owners and operators of certain adult entertainment businesses in Providence, including the Satin Doll and the Cadillac Lounge. Iafrate served as the bookkeeper for these and other businesses. Iafrate was responsible for setting aside, collecting and delivering the protection payments to Manocchio on behalf of these businesses. According to the superseding indictment, the monthly payments ranged from $4,000 to $6,000 per month.
The indictment also alleges that Bonafiglia and Cardillo were hired as a bouncer and manager, respectively, at the Cadillac Lounge upon direction from Manocchio to the owner. The indictment alleges that they provided information to Manocchio about the ongoing business affairs of the lounge in order for Manocchio to maintain control over the club.
Each charge of racketeering conspiracy, extortion conspiracy and extortion carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charges announced today are merely allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland for the District of Rhode Island, Trial Attorney Scott Lawson of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, and Trial Attorney Sam Nazarro of the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit. The case is being investigated by the FBI, with the assistance of IRS-CI, the Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department.