Photo Courtesy of DOJ
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde announced the indictment on Tuesday.
By Forum Staff
Six reputed members and associates of the Gambino organized crime family and one reputed member of the Bonanno family have been indicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of loansharking, operating illegal gambling businesses, narcotics distribution conspiracy, and obstruction of justice conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced on Tuesday.
The 13-count superseding indictment was unsealed in Central Islip federal court and relates to the alleged criminal activities of John “Johnny Boy” Ambrosio, Frank “Frankie Boy” Salerno, Thomas Anzalone, Alessandro “Sandro” Damelio, Joseph Durso, Anthony Rodolico and Anthony Saladino. Anzalone, Damelio, and Salerno live in Queens. According to federal authorities, their crimes allegedly occurred on Long Island, in Brooklyn, and elsewhere between January 2014 and December 2017.
As alleged in the indictment, Ambrosio conducted a lucrative loansharking operation in which he, Anzalone, Rodolico, Saladino and others extended extortionate loans to, and used extortionate means to collect from numerous individuals, often charging exorbitant interest rates and employing violent collection methods. For instance, in an intercepted conversation with Ambrosio, an individual asked for Ambrosio’s help collecting a debt and recounted telling the debtor, “I don’t know if you know who I am and where I come from, but I promise you, you will never walk again.” Ambrosio and Rodolico also allegedly attempted to obstruct the federal grand jury proceeding into their criminal activities by intimidating a loanshark victim into lying to law enforcement.
Ambrosio also was involved with a variety of gambling operations, including illegal poker games, electronic gaming machines and internet sports betting, with Damelio, Durso, Salerno and Saladino being responsible for many of the day-to-day operations, according to the indictment.
Additionally, Anzalone, Damelio, Durso, Saladino and Salerno distributed a variety of narcotics, including cocaine, marijuana and Xanax, as alleged in the indictment. Saladino and Salerno allegedly engaged in the distribution of wholesale quantities of cocaine, including 12 separate sales to an undercover member of law enforcement totaling over half a kilogram.
“Today’s arrests represent a major disruption of La Costra Nostra’s activities on Long Island,” said acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde. “As alleged, the defendants engaged in a wide range of illegal and violent conduct in furtherance of their criminal enterprise. The superseding indictment sends a message that this office, together with our law enforcement partners, remains committed to diminishing these organized crime families and their deleterious effect on our communities.”
Rohde noted that, if convicted, Ambrosio, Anzalone, Damelio, Durso and Rodolico face a maximum of 20 years in prison. Saladino and Salerno each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the cocaine conspiracy offenses.