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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Member Of DeCavalcante Crime Family Admits Use Of Interstate Facility To Commit Murder

NEWARK, N.J. – A member of the DeCavalcante Family of La Cosa Nostra today admitted using a telephone to plan the murder of an organized crime rival, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Charles Stango, 72, of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of knowingly using an interstate facility – the telephone – with the intent to murder a rival. He also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his supervised release, which he was serving following his imprisonment on racketeering charges in New York.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Stango was arrested on April 14, 2015, as part of a sweep of DeCavalcante crime family members that operated in New Jersey and elsewhere.  The DeCavalcante crime family was part of a nationwide criminal organization known variously as the “Mafia” and “La Cosa Nostra,” which operated through entities called “families.”  The DeCavalcante family engaged in numerous criminal activities, including conspiracy to commit murder, distribution of controlled substances, prostitution, extortion, and other crimes of violence.  

Stango admitted today that he used the telephone to plan the murder of a crime family rival (identified in court papers as “Victim 1”). Based on tape recorded evidence uncovered during the investigation, Stango believed that Victim 1 had falsely held himself out to be a “made man” within the family structure.  Stango refused to recognize Victim 1’s alleged new status. Stango also believed that Victim 1 had intentionally insulted a high-ranking family member, which Stango felt deserved the ultimate punishment. He offered up to $50,000 to two assassins to carry out the order. The two assassins were, in fact, undercover FBI agents. Law enforcement officials closed down the investigation to ensure Victim 1’s safety, and he was never harmed.         

Six of Stango’s co-defendants, including his son, Anthony Stango, have pleaded guilty to various crimes – including distribution of significant amounts of cocaine and attempting to set up a prostitution business – to enrich the crew members and the crime family.

The count to which Stango pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 Sentencing is scheduled for March 28, 2017.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, under the direction of Executive Director Walter Arsenault; the Bayonne Police Department, under the direction of Chief Drew Niekrasz; and the N.J. State Commission of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Director Lee C. Seglem, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the FBI’s Las Vegas office and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office for their roles in the investigation.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Donnelly of the Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Chester Keller Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

16-346
Topic: 
Violent Crime
Updated December 20, 2016