.

Bloomfield Man Accused of Taking Part in Mob-Run Trash Scam

Anthony Pucciarello, of Bloomfield, is one of 32 others charged with various crimes related to helping run a Mafia waste management ring in and around NYC

A 77-year-old Bloomfield man was charged Wednesday in a widespread federal sweep targeting a mob-run conspiracy to control the trash-hauling industry in New York and New Jersey. 

Anthony Pucciarello, known as "Muzzy" and a soldier for the Genovese Crime Family, was one of 32 people in New York and New Jersey charged in an FBI-run takedown that included members of several crime families, US Attorney for the Southern District of NY, Preet Bharara, Assistant Director in Charge of the NY Office of the FBI George Venizelos and Westchester County Police Department Commissioner George Longworth said in a release.

Pucciarello was charged along with Carmine Franco, a 77-year-old Genovese Crime Family associate and allegedly the ring leader of a scheme to control crooked waste management companies, law enforcement officials said Wednesday. Franco also had two prior convictions in connection with organized crime in the trash removal industry.

Franco, known as "Papa Smurf" and "Uncle Sonny," was allegedly at the center of a scheme involving three well-known mob families: the Genovese, Gambino and Lucchese crime families.

According to the release, Franco and Pucciarello were two of 12 people who controlled crooked waste management companies that were officially owned by people who had no past ties to organized crime, who were known as “controlled members.”

Due to Franco's previous convictions, he would not have been able to obtain a waste-hauling license in NY and was barred from the industry in New Jersey, the release said.

Franco and Pucciarello, along with the 10 otherenterprise members,” controlled the waste disposal businesses by dictating hauling routes, demanding extortion payments for protection and using the company to commit other crimes.

“Enterprise members… [dictated] which trash pick-up stops that a particular hauling company could use and [extorted] payments in exchange for protection by individuals associated with organized crime,” the release said. “By asserting and enforcing purported “property rights” over the trash pick-up routes, the Enterprise members excluded any competitor that might offer lower prices or better service, in effect imposing a criminal tax on businesses and communities.”

The, “tactics [Franco and his accomplices] used to exert and maintain their control come right out of the mafia playbook – extortion, intimidation, and threats of violence,” Bharara said in the release. “And while these accused mobsters may have hidden themselves behind seemingly legitimate owners of waste disposal businesses, law enforcement was able to pierce that veil through its painstaking, multi-year investigation.”

The investigation included a controlled owner who was cooperating with law enforcement, but acting as an affiliate of the crime scheme, the release said. At times, Franco allegedly controlled the Cooperating Witness’s company.

“Organized crime has many victims – in this case small business owners who pay for waste removal, potential competitors, and the communities infected by this corruption and its cost,” Bharara said.

Pucciarello is charged with one count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and six counts of extortion. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 50 years. 

Franco is charged with one count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, two counts of extortion, three counts of mail and wire fraud conspiracy, and nine counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, the release said. Together, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 195 years in prison.

The charges against the group of 32 alleged criminals are contained in three indictments, United States v. Franco, et al., United States v. Giustra, et al., and United States v. Lopez. An initial hearing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan.

The PDF attached shows the charges against all of the alleged mobsters involved, the maximum sentences they face, their ages and where they are from.

Submit your questions or news tips to jessica.mazzola@patch.com. And, remember to sign up for Ramsey Patch's daily newsletter, and get updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something