Mother And Son Who Ran Cocaine Importation Scheme From Their Family’s Queens Restaurant Sentenced To Prison
Angelo Gigliotti Sentenced to 20 Years for Importing Over 50 Kilos of Cocaine into the U.S. from Costa Rica; Eleonora Gigliotti Sentenced to 7 Years
Earlier today at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie sentenced the defendant Angelo Gigliotti to 20 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release following his conviction for conspiracy to import and possess cocaine. Judge Dearie had previously sentenced the defendant Angelo Gigliotti’s mother, Eleonora Gigliotti, on May 11, 2017, to 7 years in prison for her role in the importation scheme.
The sentence was announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office; and Angel M. Melendez, Special-Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York.
“The defendants used their family restaurant in Corona, Queens, as well as a produce importation company, to import over 50 kilograms of cocaine worth millions of dollars from Costa Rica. The prison sentences imposed on the defendants put an end to the transnational drug trafficking they conducted behind the disguise of local businesses,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. Ms. Rohde thanked our law enforcement partners in Italy, including the Prosecutor of the Republic of Reggio Calabria, the Italian National Police (INP), and in particular, the Squadra Mobile of Reggio Calabria and the Servizio Centrale Operativo, the Direzione Centrale per i Servizi Antidroga, and the Direzione Nazionale Antimafia, as well as our law enforcement partners in Costa Rica, including the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial. Ms. Rohde also expressed her gratitude to the U.S. Department of Justice Attaché and the Offices of the HSI and FBI Legal Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, as well as the FBI Legal Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Panama City, who coordinated extensive evidence-sharing and coordinated operations, and to the New York City Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance in this matter.
“The damaging effects of drugs aren’t limited to those individuals who abuse them—negative consequences often befall family members and friends, while businesses and government entities frequently incur the economic costs associated with drug abuse and prevention programs,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “To say the threats posed by the illegal drug trade know no boundaries would be an understatement, and yet there are those among us who dare to draw the line a little closer to home. Today, with the help of our law enforcement partners around the globe, two more people remain behind bars for carelessly and deliberately contributing to this international dilemma.”
“This mother and son team trafficked cocaine across the globe, and used their own family-run restaurant as a front for their criminal activities,” said ICE-HSI New York Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez. “HSI uses its multifaceted investigative authorities with its partners to pursue and dismantle drug trafficking organizations whether it’s a small family run operation in New York or a large cartel operating in South America.”
Following a two-week trial in July 2016, a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York found the defendant Angelo Gigliotti and his father, Gregorio Gigliotti, guilty of participating in a long-running cocaine importation scheme. The defendant’s mother, Eleonora Gigliotti, also participated in the family-run drug-trafficking operation, and in January 2017, pled guilty to conspiring to import cocaine. Gregorio Gigliotti was previously sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the narcotics scheme, as well as for the possession of firearms in furtherance of the drug operation.
The defendants’ arrests arose out of a long-term investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with law enforcement authorities in Italy, into a transnational cocaine trafficking operation. Between October and December 2014, federal law enforcement officers intercepted and seized approximately 55 kilograms of cocaine that had been hidden inside cardboard boxes that contained cassava and sent from co-conspirators in Costa Rica to the defendants in New York. To facilitate their operation, the defendants used their family-run Italian restaurant in Corona, Queens, Cucino Amodo Mio, as well as a produce importation company, Fresh Farm Export Corp., that was incorporated in 2012 to provide a cover for their drug-trafficking operation. On March 11, 2015, the day the defendants were arrested, federal law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Cucino Amodo Mio and recovered one 12 gauge shotgun, one loaded .357 magnum Trooper revolver, one loaded .22 caliber Colt pistol, one loaded .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver, one 9 mm Keltec pistol, one .762 Czech pistol, one .38 caliber Derringer that had a defaced serial number, ammunition magazines, loose ammunition, two handgun holsters, brass knuckles, a handwritten ledger showing the movement of more than $350,000, and more than $100,000 in cash.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime & Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Margaret E. Gandy and Keith D. Edelman are in charge of the prosecution.
Woodside, New York
Malba, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 15-CR-204 (S-2) (RJD)