Skip to main content
Press Release

Three Defendants Plead Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Participating In Organized Crime Scheme To Control The Commercial Waste Disposal Industry

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that DOMINCK PIETRANICO and JOSEPH SARCINELLA pled guilty to loansharking in connection with their roles in a scheme to exert control over the commercial waste-hauling industry in the greater New York City metropolitan area and in parts of New Jersey. Additionally, WILLIAM CALI pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit extortion as part of the same scheme. PIETRANICO, SARCINELLA, and CALI, who were among 32 defendants charged in the case in January 2013, pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel. PIETRANICO, SARCINELLA, and CALI are the third, fourth, and fifth defendants to plead guilty in this case.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Three more defendants now stand convicted of federal crimes for their willingness to aid the mob in maintaining control over the waste disposal industry, but they will not be the last. We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to sweep the remnants of organized crime from our streets, and today’s guilty pleas underscore that commitment.”

According to the Indictment against PIETRANICO, SARCINELLA, and CALI, other documents filed in Manhattan federal court, and statements made at related court proceedings:

PIETRANICO, SARCINELLA, and CALI were participants in a scheme, along with other members and associates of three different Organized Crime Families of La Cosa Nostra (“LCN”) – the Genovese, Gambino, and Luchese Crime Families – to control various waste disposal businesses in the New York City metropolitan area and multiple counties in New Jersey. Members of the scheme engaged in various crimes including extortion, loansharking, mail and wire fraud, and stolen property offenses.

PIETRANICO and SARCINELLA, who are made members of the Genovese Crime Family, provided protection and “backing” to a witness cooperating with the Government (the “CW”) who operated a waste disposal company, and made an extortionate loan at a rate of interest exceeding one hundred percent annually. CALI, a Genovese Crime Family associate, provided protection and “backing” to the CW in exchange for regular payments made under the threat of harm.

PIETRANICO, 82, of Mahopac, New York, and SARCINELLA, 79, of Scarsdale, New York, each pled guilty to one count of making an extortionate extension of credit. CALI, 60, of Queens, New York, pled guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to commit extortion. PIETRANICO, SARCINELLA, and CALI each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. PIETRANICO, SARCINELLA and CALI are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Castel on January 9, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Two other defendants, Kenneth Lopez and Joseph Antico, have already pled guilty in connection with this case are. Lopez pled guilty on May 1, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. Antico pled guilty on June 24, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck to participating in a conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Antico’s sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

The charges against the remaining 27 defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Westchester County Police Department.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit.

Assistant United States Attorneys Brian R. Blais, Rebecca G. Mermelstein, and Natalie Lamarque are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant United States Attorney Micah Smith of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit is responsible for the forfeiture aspects of the case.

U.S. v. Carmine Franco et al. Indictment

Updated May 18, 2015

Press Release Number: 13-284