Tag Archives: italian mafia

Mafia enforcer back behind bars after road rage attack

A gangster for the New Jersey crime family that inspired The Sopranos has pleaded guilty to violating his parole after he was filmed engaging in a road rage attack.

Ex-con Jerry Balzano, a reputed enforcer for the DeCavalcante crime family, was on supervised release after pleading guilty to a racketeering conspiracy in 2011 when he lost his cool at another driver.

Vision from the victim’s dashboard camera shows Balzano brake-check him before he gets out of his car and hurls abuse.

“You want to play f—ing games, you little c—?” Balzano can be heard yelling at the driver.

“You want to cut me off like a tough guy?”

The victim’s wife can be heard phoning police as the 54-year-old alleged gangster pummels her husband.

“Someone is hitting my husband,” she screams. “Oh my gosh.”

Balzano continues to beat the man until another motorist pulls over, manages to calm him down and leads him back to his car.

He then speeds away, despite not having a driver’s licence.

The alleged Mafioso is due to front court again on May 16 and faces up to two years in jail for the road rage attack, according to the New York Post.
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/04/11/14/39/mafia-enforcer-back-behind-bars-after-road-rage-attack#1FAHlspQLiv4Te2h.99

New York mafia family hit by wave of arrests

Ten members of a New York mafia family were arrested Tuesday on charges including attempted murder and extortion, prosecutors said, the latest blow against the area’s organized crime syndicates.

All of the suspects are believed to belong to the Bonanno family, one of five major Italian-American mob organizations in the northeastern United States – along with the Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese families.

The charges stem from alleged crimes committed over a nearly 20-year span, beginning in 1998. They centered in New York’s bayside Howard Beach neighborhood, close to the John F. Kennedy International Airport, and were the result of a long-term investigation that included wiretaps, cooperating witnesses and surveillance.

Ronald “Ronnie G.” Giallanzo, an acting captain in the Bonanno family, was the ringleader of a loansharking operation that, at one point, reached $3 million in “extortionate loans,” according to Bridget Rohde, acting federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York.

“Even while incarcerated, Giallanzo kept watch over his illicit loansharking book, directing his associates to commit acts of violence to ensure that the customers paid the exorbitant weekly interest rate,” a statement read.

Prosecutors gave an example of one customer who owed Giallanzo $250,000 and had been missing the required weekly interest payments. Giallanzo and an unnamed associated allegedly beat the man until he soiled himself, while screaming and demanding the money.

Another defendant, Evan “The Jew” Greenberg, had boasted about grabbing a delinquent customer by the ankles, and knocking the victim to the ground with his head hitting the concrete, prosecutors said.

The indictment unsealed Tuesday also accused Giallanzo of a plot to murder a person who had robbed his associates.

The dispute lasted months, and saw Giallanzo’s crew and their target trading gunfire on several occasions in the streets of Howard Beach.

The defendants were estimated to have earned more than $26 million from crimes including illegal gambling, robbery and extortion, prosecutors said.

Howard Beach is home to a large Italian-American community and is sometimes considered a stronghold of the New York mafia.

Last week, the 23-year-old namesake grandson of New York mobster John Gotti was arrested and charged with violent crimes, including a bank holdup. Six others were also indicted and arrested in the mafia crackdown.

And in August, authorities arrested 46 alleged mobsters up and down the US East Coast, accusing them of orchestrating a vast criminal enterprise that stretched from Massachusetts to Florida.

Italian police break mafia ring exporting fake olive oil to U.S.

By Umberto Bacchi

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Italian police said they have busted a crime ring exporting fake extra virgin olive oil to the United States, highlighting the mafia’s infiltration of Italy’s famed agriculture and food business.

Twelve people with links to the ‘Ndrangheta, the organized crime group based in the southern Calabria region, were arrested on Tuesday on a series of charges including mafia association and fraud, police said in a statement.

The gang shipped cheap olive pomace oil to the U.S. where it was re-labeled as the more expensive “extra virgin” variety, prized for its rich taste and health benefits, and distributed as such to retail stores in New Jersey, they said.

Italian crime syndicates earned an estimated 16 billion euros ($16.85 billion) in 2015 through illegal activities in the agriculture sector, up from 15 billions in 2014, according to Italy’s agricultural association, Coldiretti.

Besides counterfeiting products, gangs make money seizing control of farmland and firms, fixing prices, controlling distribution and through labor exploitation, studies say.

In 2015, crime groups forced more than 100,000 Italians and migrants to work long hours for little pay in fields across the country, according to a report by Italian General Confederation of Labor union (CGIL).

Read Full – http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-crime-food-idUSKBN1602BD

Chinese Triads And Italian Mafia Running The Irish PPL Smuggling

Two Aer Lingus staff among three arrested at Dublin Airport over alleged people smuggling

THREE PEOPLE arrested in connection with alleged smuggling of illegal immigrants through Dublin Airport are to appear in court tomorrow morning.

Two of the men arrested are Aer Lingus employees. The third was a suspected illegal immigrant. Gardaí suspect the two Aer Lingus workers were facilitating this man’s illegal entry into the state.

The arrests of the three men (aged 61, 56 and 28) took place at the airport last night in an operation carried out by the Garda Immigration Bureau (GNIB) assisted by the Garda Special Detective Unit (SDU).

The three men are currently detained at Ballymun and Coolock garda stations.

Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll said gardaí have searched a number of premises and vehicles as part of the investigation.

They are working to identify how many occasions in the past this may have taken place. He said gardaí investigating this incident were analysing a “considerable amount of data”.

Illegal immigrants were disguised as Aer Lingus workers so they could be smuggled through Dublin Airport in a global people smuggling scam that netted gangsters up to €12m.

Two male Aer Lingus employees, aged 61 and 56, and a Chinese national (28) were being quizzed by gardai last night following a major sting operation on Sunday, when an Aer Lingus flight landed in Dublin from Madrid.

More arrests are expected in the investigation, which is said to involve a number of dangerous international gangs.

A massive garda investigation has found that up to 600 people may have been smuggled into the country at an estimated cost of around €20,000 per person as part of the scam.

The Herald has learned the extent of the smuggling operation recently came to light after a man who entered Ireland illegally attempted to leave on a flight to another EU country.

Authorities noticed there was no official record of the individual entering the country, and a criminal probe was launched into the smuggling of people taking place at Ireland’s main airport.

“This raised a red flag and the Garda National Immigration Bureau launched a major surveillance operation at the airport,” a senior source said.


Gardai have discovered the illegal immigrants arrived on Aer Lingus flights from European destinations and then left the plane with other passengers.

While walking with other passengers in the airport, they would be diverted away by criminals involved in the scam before they reached immigration and customs checks at the airport.

The operation would see them taken to a secure area of the airport and they would be given uniforms and high-visibility jackets to disguise them as Aer Lingus employees.

The non-nationals were then driven from airside to landside in Aer Lingus vehicles such as catering vans and trucks.

Gardai have established that the immigrants were then dropped at a location north of the airport, where they were picked up by associates.

Sources say gardai believe that about 100 illegal immigrants a year came into the country this way and that the scam had been in operation for around six years.

It is understood that most of the people smuggled into the country came from Asian countries, particularly China, and many left here for other EU countries shortly after arriving.

Gardai believe a network of international crime gangs are involved in the scam and these include Italian gangs, Eastern European mobs and even Chinese crime groupings.


“While there are two gentlemen arrested after Sunday night’s sting operation, gardai are in no doubt that there were many other people involved in this criminal operation both in Ireland and abroad,” a senior source said.

“Expect more arrests to follow,” the source added.

Sunday’s arrests stemmed from an intelligence-led operation, which a senior garda said is possible as a result of civilian staff being placed at passport control.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll said yesterday: “In recent times there has been a reconfiguration of personnel working the immigration control at Dublin Airport, which has involved an input of civilian staff attached to Irish Naturalisation and Immigration control booths.

“We have arrested three people, two of whom are employees of a carrier of passengers. One person is a potential illegal immigrant, who illegally entered the state, who was facilitated by our two suspects.”


Produced by / @nickolaushines
Updated on December 12, 2016.

Some 400,000 bottles worth of sparkling Italian wine will never see the bottle this year. An unidentified crew of miscreants with a mysterious motive snuck onto the grounds of the historic Italian winery Conte Vistarino and emptied steel tanks filled with Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and other white wines from the 2016 harvest. The staff came to work the morning after the act of vandalism to find $530,000 worth of grape juice and skins on the floor.

The perpetrators didn’t damage any other equipment or steal anything from the winery though, which leaves some to speculate that this act was committed out of spite, The Telegraph writes.

“If you have no idea why, you don’t sleep at night,” Ottavia Giorgi di Vistarino, the countess who manages the winery, told The Telegraph. “The team is shaken, but we won’t let it stop us. We’ll just have to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”

Italian wine producers, not just Conte Vistarino, have been having a rough couple of years. Mafia members have infiltrated parts of the wine business and are bringing a mafia sensibility to the wine business, a 60 Minutes piece revealed in early 2016. Mafia-tainted olive oil, wine, and cheese — all of which fall under the term “Agromafia,” 60 Minutes reports — is a $16 billion-a-year business. In terms of wine, the Agromafia is notorious for mixing a lesser quality wine with a famous brand and selling it as the famous brand.

Read Full – http://vinepair.com/booze-news/italian-wine-drained/