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Queens Chronicle

Gambinos admit they extorted strip clubs

Four Howard Beach men plead guilty

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Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:52 pm, Thu Mar 1, 2012.

Four members of the notorious Gambino family, all of Howard Beach, pled guilty in Manhattan Federal Court last week to a long list of crimes, including operating large scale narcotics distribution operations, the majority of which were located in Queens, and extorting strip clubs in the borough and Long Island.

Alphonse Trucchio, 35; Michael Roccaforte, 35; Anthony Moscatiello, 41; and Christopher Colon, 37, all of Howard Beach, admitted on Friday that they, along with others, distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana, as well as thousands of ecstasy and Vicodin pills, between 1998 and 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. The sales generated millions of dollars for the Gambino family, according to the FBI.

Additionally, Moscatiello, a Gambino “soldier,” fessed up to using violence and threats to extort payments from business owners throughout the city, the feds said. Trucchio, a Gambino “captain,” and Colon, an associate with the crime family, pled guilty to extorting strip clubs in Queens and Long Island, including Perfection in Woodside and Rouge in Maspeth, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

According to the federal government, Trucchio and Colon worked with other Mafia members and the Russian mob to smuggle in women from eastern Europe to strip in Perfection, Rouge and other clubs.

They have been charged with racketeering, narcotics trafficking, assault, and extortion, among other crimes.

“For those who believe La Cosa Nostra’s criminal activities and influence are on the decline, the sweeping charges in this case and today’s guilty pleas should disabuse them of that notion,” Bharara said in a prepared statement on Friday. “They should also make clear that this office is as committed as ever to rooting out the dangerous and deadly presence of organized crime.”

Trucchio also pled guilty to ordering and participating in two assaults in 2008 and 2009, while Colon admitted to hitting another person with his car while trying to collect a debt in 2010.

Trucchio, Roccaforte and Moscatiello will be sentenced on May 17, and Colon will be sentenced June 4.

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