Mobsters rounded up for extortion and intimidation scheme

NEW YORK, NY – The Justice Department has brought charges against sixteen individuals, ten based in New York and six in Italy, for their alleged involvement in an international conspiracy. The accused, believed to be members or associates of the Gambino crime family, are said to have conspired to control New York’s waste management and demolition sectors, using intimidation, fraud, and violence to achieve their ends.

The group, led by alleged mob captain Joseph Lanni, also known as “Joe Brooklyn” and “Mommino,” faces federal racketeering charges. The charges encompass a range of alleged criminal activities, including extortion, arson, multiple assaults, and union fraud. Lanni is also implicated in an unrelated assault on a New Jersey restaurant owner and his wife in September.

One notable incident involved alleged Gambino “soldier” Diego Tantillo, Sicilian mobsters Vito Rappa and Francesco Vicari, and Gambino associate Kyle “Twin” Johnson. The group reportedly targeted a New York City carting business owner, using threats, arson, and vandalism to intimidate him. They are also accused of assaulting one of his associates and cornering the victim and his father-in-law.

Rappa and Vicari allegedly coerced the father-in-law into acting “like the ‘Last of the Samurai’” and threatened to cut the business owner in half to extract extortion payments. The victim eventually handed over $4,000, and Vicari and Rappa allegedly sent Tantillo a picture of a champagne bottle “as in a toast.”

The indictment also names alleged Gambino soldiers Angelo Gradilone, James LaForte, and alleged associates Salvatore DiLorenzo, Robert Brooke, and Vincent Minsquero. The group is also accused of setting up “no-show” jobs to collect union health benefits for one another. Nine of the ten defendants pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, stated, “As alleged, for years the defendants committed violent extortions, assaults, arson, witness retaliation and other crimes in an attempt to dominate the New York carting and demolition industries.”