DeMeo Car Ring Far Outperformed 'Untouchables'

Roy DeMeo, hunting -- game this time, it would appear.

Ray Merrole and his crew considered themselves as untouchable car thieves -- and even claimed a big budget Hollywood movie was based on their exploits (we strong disagree with this, as we noted )

Roy DeMeo, who also ran a stolen-car ring, had a much bigger operation than Ray did. Roy's went all the way up to mob boss Paul Castellano, who was actually on trial for this auto-theft operation when he was whacked by John Gotti and company.

Big Paul, not trusting Roy to "stand up," had had him whacked months earlier.


In 1979, as is widely known, Roy DeMeo began to expand his business activities, in particular his auto theft operation, which would soon become the largest in New York City's history.

"Dubbed the Empire Boulevard Operation by FBI agents, the operation consisted of hundreds of stolen cars being shipped from ports in New Jersey to Kuwait and Puerto Rico. DeMeo put together a group of five active partners in the operation, all of whom earned approximately $30,000 a week each in profit.

Ray Merolle mugshot.
"The Empire Boulevard Operation had continued to expand through 1979 and 1980 until the warehouse serving as its headquarters was raided by agents from the Newark branch of the FBI in the summer of 1980. The FBI had been surveilling the warehouse and some of the men unloading vehicles there and had shortly thereafter obtained a search warrant. Henry Borelli and Frederick DiNome were arrested in May 1981 for their roles in the operation, but there was not enough evidence to arrest any of the other active partners. DeMeo ordered Borelli and DiNome to plead guilty to the charges in hopes that it would stop any further investigations into his activities by the FBI or other law enforcement agencies."

Merolle gained notoriety more recently, about a decade ago, on Staten Island as a member of "The Untouchables" gang. The crew allegedly ripped off car dealerships throughout the boroughs of New York and New Jersey.

The Untouchables, which included Merolle's younger brother, Keith, and other family members, raked in a million dollars a year and gave itself the moniker because they believed they couldn't be caught, authorities said.

Now Ray's op brought in $1 million a year; DeMeo, about 20 years or so earlier, brought in $150,000 per week, which is $600,000 a month, and between $7 million and $8 million a year.

And that's not even adjusting for inflation...which even wiseguys can't escape.

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