A notorious Gambino crime family member, who allegedly murdered four men in southern Queens, was one of 62 people indicted on federal charges in Brooklyn Federal Court last week.
Charles Carneglia, who is accused of killing all but one of his victims in the borough, was charged with murder in the context of organized crime. He joined other members and associates of the Gambino, Genovese and Bonanno crime families in jail after the crews were charged with a host of federal crimes, including racketeering and attempted murder.
Gambino family captain Nicholas Corrozo and 25 associates were indicted on charges of running an illegal gambling enterprise based in Queens. The ring is said to have brought in more than $10 million in wagers in a two-year period.
“This was a bad day for organized crime,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. But it was an exciting one for those who worked for decades to smash the major crime ring and solve cold case murders.
One such murder was that of Albert Gelb, a Brooklyn Criminal Court officer who Carneglia allegedly shot to death in 1976. Gelb was parking his car near Atlantic and 95th avenues in Woodhaven when it is charged that Carneglia shot him multiple times in the face.
The March 11 murder was an act of retaliation, Kellly said. The year prior to Gelb’s death, Carneglia allegedly pulled a gun on the officer outside the Esquire Diner on Crossbay Boulevard in Howard Beach, and was later arrested. Angry and seeking revenge, Carneglia gunned the officer down four days before he was expected to testify at Carneglia’s trial.
The Gambino soldier, who is one of four mobsters charged with eight murder-related crimes, also killed two of his of own after personal disputes, according to Kelly.
The first argument occurred in October 1977 outside Crossbay Boulevard’s Blue Fountain Diner. It resulted in the death of Gambino clan member Michael Cotillo, who Carneglia stabbed to death.
Another dispute took place in July 1983 on the corner of 156th Avenue and 79th Street in Howard Beach, where Gambino associate Salvatore Puma was stabbed to death.
Carneglia’s final alleged murder in southern Queens was in December 1990 at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He is said to have robbed, shot and killed armored truck guard Jose Delgado Rivera, who was delivering money to the American Airlines building with a co-worker.
The fifth victim was Gambino soldier Louis Di Bono, who Carneglia shot and killed in October 1990 in Manhattan.
To infiltrate the crime ring, the multi-agency investigation, led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, used wiretaps and an informant who recorded hundreds of conversations with members of the crime families.
“Organized crime spilled a lot of blood in New York,” Kelly said, “and it is being held accountable — no matter how long it takes.”