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U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White Announces Several Arrests in New York in Organized Crime Investigation

Aired December 5, 2001 - 13:11   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to switch gears completely now, go to New York now, where Mary Jo White, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, is holding a news conference on organized crime.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MARY JO WHITE, U.S. ATTORNEY: The capos charged and arrested today as Paquelli Parello (ph), Ross Gangi (ph), and Joe Denty (ph) Jr. Parrelo is the alleged head of the Bronx's based highly diversified and financially thriving Parello crew, which until today's charges and arrest, had successfully evaded law enforcement by avoiding attention-getting violence and the use of non-LCN related business partners. Parello is the lead defendant in the racketeering indictment.

The base of operations of Parello's crew was Parello's restaurant, Rigoletto's (ph), in the Bronx. We have photographs of that over on the charts and the pictures on the floor. Rigoletto's was the site of weekly sit-downs, where the crew's business was discussed and additional criminal activities were planned.

The second capo charged today, who was actually incarcerated previously, was Ross Gangi, the capo of a downtown Manhattan-based crew. He is today charged with conspiracy and receipt and transportation of jewelry and other property valued at nearly half a million dollars, stolen from a New Jersey antique's dealer.

Gangi was previously convicted and the Mob Stock (ph) case, and is currently serving 97-month prison sentence.

The third Joe Denty Jr. is the alleged head of a loan sharking and gambling crew, also based in the Bronx, that allegedly threatened loan sharking victims and others in furtherance of their operation.

The specific crimes charged in today's indictments include extortion, labor racketeering and embezzlement of over one million dollars in union pension benefits, loan sharking, illegal multimillion dollars sports and numbers gambling operations, sale and interstate transportation of stolen problem, including jewelry and counterfeit handbags, sunglasses and designer clothing, trafficking and contraband cigarettes and liquor, Selling or negotiating counterfeit money, $20 and $100 bills as well as corporate checks, a variety of credit card, stolen car insurance, mortgage and bank frauds, gun trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, and an attempted robbery of $6 million from "The New York Times" payroll money, a plan allegedly spearheaded Genovese associates Joseph Severese (ph) and Anthony Capenelli (ph), a newspaper delivery truck driver employed by "The New York Times."

The period of illegal operations charged in the indictments runs from 1998 through 2001. For that period alone, over $14 million in illegal proceeds is alleged to have been made by the defendants. Wherever money was to be made, these defendants would go. These indictments show the face of traditional organized crime, still at work and making large sums of money for the Genovese crime family and his associates. They also show law enforcement successfully at a work.

Today's sweeping charges are a result of a 40-month undercover investigation conducted by the FBI and NYPD, with assistance from the ATF and the United States Secret Service. The investigation targeted the Genovese crime family, the largest and most financially successful crime family in New York.

The scope of the investigation deliberately included the family's middle management and rank-and-file members and associates, where the mob's money is made and its crimes are committed and carried out.

Until today, the large profits being reaped by these Genovese crews may have made a calculated risk of being caught seem worth it. That equation should no longer compute to same answer. The message send and received today should be that organized crime, at every level, will be met with the full force of federal law enforcement.

The penalties upon conviction are severe, up to hundreds of years in jail, and up to a million dollars in fines, per defendant, forfeiture of the over $14 million in illegal proceeds alleged in the indictments is also being sought from a number of the defendants, which will include, if necessary, the forfeiture of homes and other real estate owned by the defendants in New York, Westchester and the Bronx, New Jersey and Florida.

All of the defendants arrested today, and I think we are at 60 and counting, are scheduled to be presented in Manhattan federal court before United States magistrate judge Andrew J. Peck. The investigation is continuing.

I ask Barry Mahn to make some comments.

BLITZER: Mary Jo White, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York announcing a major sweep, several arrest, 60 indeed, 60 of 98 indictments in a very broad-based organized crime investigation that's been under way now for more than three years, an investigation involving the Genovese crime family in New York, all sorts of charges, including extortion, labor racketeering, embezzlement, loan sharking, attempted robbery, gun trafficking. We'll be following obviously this story throughout the day, continuing on this front, $14 million in illegal proceedings, an investigation that began in 1998 and is still continuing.

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