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37 Suspects Rounded Up In Major Bust Involving Gambling, Loan Sharking Rings

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly announced a major takedown of organized crime activity today.

WCBS 880's Irene Cornell On The Case


The long-term investigation focused on gambling and loan sharking rings -- the real moneymakers for the Gambino crime family.

Kelly said that the 37 defendants were rounded up in a series of early morning raids.

One of those arrested was 56-year-old John Marinacci who appeared on episodes of "The Sopranos" and "Boardwalk Empire."

Investigators had used wiretaps, video surveillance, GPS tracking, and bugs placed inside various locations to make their cases.

When the defendants conducted business on street corners, undercover cops were watching.

According to the charges, some of the gambling operations on professional sports and horse racing were run out of offshore wire rooms that generated millions of dollars in wagers.

The investigation was called "Operation Flat Rate."

"These arrests cripple a network of criminal enterprises and the organized crime family they supported," Schneiderman said. "The partnership between OCTF and the NYPD provided the skills and resources needed to bring the 37 individuals charged here to justice, and our offices will continue our work to dismantle these criminal ventures."

"Illegal gambling rings not only promote addiction and burden families with debt from usurious loans, but the proceeds from gambling and loan sharking are used to fuel organized crime and support harmful criminal enterprises," Kelly said. "I want to commend the New York State Attorney General's Office and the NYPD's Organized Crime Investigations Division for today's arrests."

The defendants charged today as a result of five separate indictments from a Kings County grand jury are:

Angelo Natoli, 28, Brooklyn
Joseph Casazza, 28, Staten Island
Joseph Russo, 29, Brooklyn
Jason Sobel, 30, Brooklyn
Nicholas Disbrow, 30, Staten Island
Dave Franzese, 32, Staten Island
Michelle Valente, 35, Staten Island
Mark Sini, 35, Staten Island
Nicola Fulciniti, 41, Staten Island
Steve Heisman, 41, Toms River, New Jersey
Louis Lombardo, 41, Brooklyn
Pietro Mastrandrea, 41, Queens
Kenneth Nappi, 42, Brick, New Jersey
Ronald Piggot, 42, Watchung, New Jersey
Michael Epstein, 43, Brooklyn
Michael Bolger, 44, Brick, New Jersey
Arthur Lento 46, Staten Island
Joseph Castellano, 48, Brooklyn
Patrick Prisco, 49, Nutley, New Jersey
Anthony Crapanzano, 49, Barnegat, New Jersey
Bernadette Impliazzo, 50, Staten Island
Steven Fusco, 51, Staten Island
Martin Milone, 53, Marlboro, New Jersey
Christopher Sorrentino, 53, Staten Island
Frank Esposito, 56, Staten Island
John Marinacci, 56, New York, NY
James Outerie, 57, Staten Island
Wane Fasano, 58, Secaucus, New Jersey
Anthony Castellano, 58, Brooklyn
Richard Heck, 61, Queens
Louis Peteroy, 64, Staten Island
Alex Petrillo, 66, Brooklyn
Paul Platania, 67, Queens
Anthony Deluca, 73, Brooklyn
Joseph Esposito, 74, Brooklyn
Vincent Romano, 74, Staten Island
Joseph Gurrieri, 79, Brooklyn

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