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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Associate of Gambino Organized Crime Family Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Arson in Queens

Defendant Set Fire to Victim’s Car to Induce Extortion Payment

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Peter Tuccio, an associate of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced by United States District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall to 10 years’ imprisonment for his involvement in setting a car on fire to extract extortion payments.  The Court also ordered Tuccio to pay more than $75,000 in restitution.  Tuccio pleaded guilty in January 2021 to using fire to commit one or more felonies.  

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.

“Today, Tuccio pays a steep price for the dangerous actions he took to extort payments to the mob,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “No residents or businesses should have to operate under the threat of violence or intimidation from organized crime.  Let Tuccio serve as an example that this behavior will not be tolerated.”  Mr. Peace thanked the New York City Fire Department’s Bureau of Fire Investigation for their outstanding work on the case.

“The primary mission of the NYPD and our law enforcement partners is to arrest, prosecute, and send away with meaningful prison sentences those who instill fear in New Yorkers through their criminal actions,” stated NYPD Commissioner Sewell.  “With today’s sentence, the result of our efforts is tangible.  I thank our colleagues at the FBI and the Eastern District of New York for their dedication in helping us hold accountable anyone who commits violence in order to spread fear, especially when it’s in the form of organized crime.”

As alleged in court filings, in 2015, a businessman who had been extorted for years by a captain in the Gambino crime family (referred to in court filings as “Co-Conspirator 1”), began avoiding Co-Conspirator 1 in an effort to stop making his annual extortionate payment.  On December 3, 2015, Tuccio and his co-conspirators observed the businessman leave a smoke shop in Howard Beach and drive away in his 2014 Mercedes Benz.  They followed the businessman at a high rate of speed through the streets of Queens and confronted him outside a pizzeria, where Tuccio asked about Co-Conspirator 1 by name and complimented the businessman’s car.  Tuccio and his co-conspirators schemed to set the businessman’s car on fire as a message to the businessman that he had to continue making payments to Co-Conspirator 1.  Later that night, the businessman heard a loud noise and saw that his car was on fire outside of his residence.  After the arson, the businessman made additional payments to Co-Conspirator 1. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime & Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Nadia E. Moore, Nicholas J. Moscow and Lindsey R. Oken are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

PETER TUCCIO
Age:  29
Howard Beach, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-610 (S-1) (LDH)

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
John Marzulli United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated March 2, 2022