Feds Use Informant to Nab Gambino Crime Ring

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An informant wearing a wire helped the FBI catch a crew of New Yorkers with nicknames like "Augie," "Jimmy Boy" and "Charlie Tuna" as they attempted to steal and sell $1 million worth of cigarettes, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

The informant also helped nab an East Hanover man who allegedly sold the informant cocaine, according the U.S. Attorney's office.

Eight people — seven of them from New York, one whose residence isn't known — were charged in the alleged cigarette theft conspiracy. All face charges of conspiracy to commit cargo theft. Two — Augustine Guido and John Torlone — also face charges of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce. They could each face up to five years in prison and $250,000 per offense, if convicted.

Carmen T. Marticci, 37, of East Hanover, alone was charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He could be imprisoned for as much as 20 years, and could face a $1 million fine. He's already incarcerated on an unrelated matter, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

The investigation reaches back to January of 2010, when the informant and 72-year-old Guido of Staten Island attended a funeral together, according to the statement. Guido was recorded asking the informant if he knew of any warehouses they could rob, and said he was interested in stealing perfume, cigarettes and pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Cooperating with the FBI, the informant took part in a sting operation in which he and the eight men stole a tractor-trailer loaded with 270 cases of counterfeit Pall Mall and Lucky 7 cigarettes from a warehouse in Edison, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Federal agents placed video cameras and other evidence-gathering equipment in the area, it said.

In June, the informant met with some of the men to discuss the planned theft of the trailer — another recorded meeting — the U.S. Attorney's Office said.