Boss "Baby Shacks," Associates Plead Guilty to Racketeering

Five alleged mobsters -- including Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio -- accused of terrorizing and extorting protection payments from strip clubs around Providence, Rhode Island, have agreed to plead guilty to federal racketeering charges, officials said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Two others are going to stand trial, and an eighth defendant already plead guilty and was sentenced to 30 months; he admitted he was part of the mafia, which probably is why his sentence was so lenient; the other five men can be sentenced for up to two decades in prison.

Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio (AP)
Plea deals were reached with the accused former godfather of the New England mafia, Manocchio, 84; capo Edward "Leddy" Lato, 64; and associate Alfred "Chippy" Scivola, 70, Peter Neronha, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, says in a statement.

Two other men, Richard Bonafiglia, 58, and Raymond R. Jenkins, 47, have also agreed to plead guilty in the case, authorities said in a statement, reports The Boston Globe.

The  Globe also reports that Theodore Cardillo, 68, and Albino “Albie” Folcarelli, 53, also named in an indictment, are awaiting trial, slated to begin April 23. An eighth defendant, Thomas Iafrate, pleaded guilty in July, admitting to being an associate of the mafia. He was sentenced in December to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, authorities said.
  
The other men face sentences of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

The organized crime family members were accused of extorting thousands of dollars in cash payments each month from strip club operators since the mid-1980s. Violence and threats were part of the monthly routine "to promote a climate of fear, preserve its power, and enrich its members and associates through extortion," prosecutors said.



Capo "Leddy" Lato could get 20 years in prison, along with
boss Manocchio and other mobsters who plead guilty.
"The deal comes 13 months after the biggest single-day sweep against organized crime in U.S. history, when authorities in January 2011 arrested more than 100 organized crime suspects, targeting New York's five Mafia "families," one in New Jersey and one in New England, according to the FBI.

The arrest of "Baby Shacks" made major headlines of its own as it was reported as being the first time ever that the federal government had named who was running the New England Mafia, including the unveiling of the identity of the mafia leadership in Massachusetts, according to FOX 25/MyFoxBoston.com at the time.

"Baby Shacks" Manocchio and his associates had originally pleaded not guilty to the extortion and conspiracy charges. But federal prosecutors reported they had on deck "made" members of the New England mob willing to testify against "Baby Shacks" and the other alleged wiseguys, a court filing said, as reported then by WPRI.com.

"During the course of this investigation, the FBI has developed additional witnesses, including formally initiated or ‘made’ members of the [New England La Cosa Nostra], who will testify that the NELCN exists and further testify about the activities of its members," Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ferland and U.S. Justice Department trial attorney Sam Nazzaro wrote in the filing.

"These witnesses will testify to the secret initiation ceremony at which newly inducted members of the LCN swear a blood oath of loyalty to enforce 'omerta,' the code of silence," they wrote.

Federal prosecutors earlier this month sought permission to seat an anonymous jury in the trial, alleging that the Mafia had the ability to intimidate prospective jurors in the high-profile case, the  Globe reports.


Read full story: Former New England Mafia boss, associates to plead guilty to racketeering-related charges - The Boston Globe

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