Alleged members of the Gambino Crime Family La Cosa Nostra are among 20 individuals throughout Connecticut - including North Haven - that have been charged with alleged involvement in a large-scale, illegal Internet sports bookmaking operation and illegal card gambling clubs in Stamford and Hamden, Conn, according to U.S. Department of Justice.
The individuals were exposed after over seven months of court-authorized wiretaps and search warrants throughout three states was executed by the FBI, Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the Stamford Police Department, according to a press release issued the justice department.
“With these indictments, the Organized Crime Task Force has disrupted an alleged criminal organization that commits crimes against our society,” William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation said in a release. “Taking assets away from illegal organizations is one of the government’s most effective tools against money laundering and organized crime.”
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecituct said that all defendants (named below) excluding George “Biker George” Norboe of Wallingford, are charged with running websites such as www.44wager.com, an illegal sports gambling site based in Costa Rica, as well as illegal card gambling clubs located at 514 Glenbrook Road, Stamford; 859 East Main St., Stamford; and 2965 State St,, Hamden.
“This is another example of a long term collaborative effort that led to many arrests of suspects involved in ongoing criminal activities,” said Captain Richard Conklin of the . “These investigations with federal authorities have proven very successful and are unhindered by state or city borders.”
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, individuals operating their own independent sports-gambling allegedly also had to pay a tribute in order to operate in Gambino Family territory, violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which could result in a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The indictment provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (attached PDF), which calls for the forfeit of approximately $1.69 million from the illegal activities, names the following individuals charged:
- OHN LIQUORI, 42, of North Haven,
- MICHAEL PEPE, 32, of North Haven,
- DEAN DEPRETA, a.k.a. “The Kid,” “The Guy,” and “Little Baldy,” 44, of Stamford,
- RICHARD UVA, a.k.a. “Big Baldy,” 43, of Trumbull,
- THOMAS UVA IV, a.k.a. “Little T,” 30, of Stamford,
- DOUGLAS CORBIN, a.k.a. “Chubby,” and “Fat Doug,” 51, of Stamford,
- JOSEPH BOREA, a.k.a. “Pizza Joe,” 55, of New Canaan,
- MICHAEL VITTI, a.k.a. “Peewee,” 32, of Stamford,
- SILVERIO CALIFANO, a.k.a. “Sil,” 51, of Stamford,
- DOMENICO MANCHISI, a.k.a. “Dom,” 64, of Shelton,
- GEORGE NORBOE, a.k.a. “Biker George,” 40, of Wallingford,
- CRAIG CAFFRO, a.k.a. “Spanky,” 47, of Pompano Beach, Fla.,
- DANIEL DEGRUTTOLA, a.k.a. “Dannyboy,” 32, of Stamford,
- FRANK POTOLICCHIO, JR., 33, of Norwalk,
- VICTOR AMERENO, 41 of Stamford,
- JOHN COLELLO, 53, of Stamford,
- MITCHELL ENGELSON, 62, of New York, N.Y.,
- ANTHONY SANTORO, a.k.a. “Skinny,” 48, of Williamsburg, N.Y.,
- SALVATORE FERRAIOLI, 31 of Staten Island, N.Y., and
- ANGELO ANTOLINO, 32, of Port Chester, N.Y.
Bridgeport Police Department and the Connecticut State Police are also assisting in the investigation and , , and assisted with the arrests of the defendants; the case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Hal Chen and Peter Jongbloed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
All information provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and does not indicate a conviction.