Acting Boss of New England Mafia, Anthony DiNunzio, Released from Prison

Anthony L. DiNunzio, 58, of East Boston, Massachusetts, "the alleged leader of the New England organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra," was sentenced to six years in prison in 2012 on racketeering and extortion charges.

 Anthony DiNunzio with Anthony Gambale in 2002 in Boston
Reputed acting boss Anthony DiNunzio, left, with Anthony Gambale in 2002.

DiNunzio was released a few weeks ago, on February 22, 2018, as per the BOP inmate locator website.

In a colorful indictment, federal prosecutors alleged that DiNunzio had become the acting boss of New England’s Cosa Nostra crime family in late 2009 and oversaw the organization’s extortion of Rhode Island strip clubs and other such businesses, demanding payments of $2,000 to $6,000 per month.

DiNunzio was arrested in 2012 at the Gemini Social Club in Boston's North End. He was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison for racketeering. He's the brother of Carmen “The Big Cheese” DiNunzio, who served a state sentence for bribery and was released in July of 2017.

From BOP inmate locator site.

DiNunzio and other members and associates were charged with extorting protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island.

DiNunzio specifically was charged with one count of racketeering and extortion, and five counts of travel in aid of racketeering.

The indictment described DiNunzio as the acting boss of the New England Cosa Nostra who vowed to use violence on anyone who hesitated to carry out his orders.

"You know what I can’t understand? How the hell did he get made, because he’s half Irish, I don't understand that..."
--DiNunzio to Gambino wiseguy

Dinunzio is charged with one count each of racketeering and extortion, and five counts of travel in aid of racketeering.

Since January 2011, Takedown Day, he was the ninth alleged leader, underboss, member, or associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN) to be indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence on federal racketeering and related charges.

Prior to his arrest, DiNunzio thought he "might be safe" from a growing regional probe even as he opined that former mob boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was cooperating with investigators. Rhode Island capo Edward "Eddy" Lato had also told him that a police surveillance operation likely had ensnared them.

DiNunzio's predecessors in the boss role include his brother, who was recently identified as underboss.

"It's not about harmless old men," said Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland in the 2012 hearing. "He has shown himself to be a violent man."

Ferland described video surveillance, secret recordings and other evidence amassed against DiNunzio going back to 2009, including information developed with the cooperation of a made member of the New England mob and a member of the Gambino crime family.

The indictment claims DiNunzio looked beyond strip clubs for extortion opportunities. 

Prosecutors said DiNunzio sent an underling to New York to seek permission from the Gambino crime family to shake down an adult entertainment executive from Rhode Island.

The executive, who isn't named by prosecutors, had made monthly extortion payments of $50,000 to the Gambino crime family to protect his businesses, authorities noted in court papers.

Ferland also described conversations DiNunzio had with a Gambino crime family member to strategize a possible shakedown of the Suffolk Downs racetrack in East Boston.

 DiNunzio has health issues — including diabetes asthma,  high blood pressure, and cholesterol — and his criminal history includes a 1992 arrest that resulted in a year-long prison sentence.

Authorities say the mafia ordered strip club operators to make monthly payments of $2,000 to $6,000. 

DiNunzio and co-defendant Theodore "Teddy" Cardillo netted at least $2 million in ill-gotten gains, the indictment said.

DiNunzio’s arrest was the second time a wiseguy alleged to control the New England mob was charged in about 16 months. Former New England mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio, 84, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to his role in the mob earlier in 2012.

DiNunzio took over control of the Mafia from Peter Limone in 2010, said Rhode Island state police superintendent Col. Steven O’Donnell.

DiNunzio lived in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston and oversees operations in Boston and Rhode Island, authorities said.

New England ex-boss Luigi "Baby Shanks" Manocchio 

Carmen DiNunzio served a six-year sentence for bribing an undercover FBI agent posing as a state official to try to win a $6 million contract on Boston’s Big Dig highway project.

Limone, who authorities allege took over from Manocchio, stepped aside after taking a plea deal on charges in Massachusetts for extortion and illegal gaming.

In meetings with the Gambino crime family, DiNunzio expressed frustration about being swept up in the strip club shakedown case, the indictment said.

In a June 22, 2011, meeting with a senior Gambino crime family member, Dinunzio complained about the "worthiness" of other made members. 
"You know what I can’t understand? How the hell did he get made, because he’s half Irish…I don’t understand that...that’s not the rules…you gotta do one hundred percent (Italian).” 
During a June 22, 2010, meeting with a senior Gambino  rime family member, Dinunzio allegedly discussed his NELCN leadership style stating, 

"As soon as I took over I changed everything. One guy… ‘What if nobody wants to listen to you?’ ‘I said you’re shelved.’ He said ‘What if they don’t wanna get shelved?’ ‘Well then you and I get to watch you die in the ground….I’ll bury you right in the [expletive] ground ... I’ll stay there [expletive] 10 hours until you’re dead. And I’ll dig you back up and make sure you’re dead.’”

Antonio “Spucky” Spagnolo,
One of two geezer gangsters running New England Mafia in 2015 after everyone else was arrested.

In December 2015, two New England Mafiosi in their 70s, including the alleged acting Patriarca Family boss, were sentenced to prison after copping to a years-long extortion scheme in federal court.

On December 16, Antonio “Spucky” Spagnolo, 73, and Pryce “Stretch” Quintina, 75, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to affect commerce by extortion.

Prosecutors alleged that Spagnolo, of Revere is the acting boss of the New England Mafia. Co-defendant, Quintina, also of Revere, reported to Spagnolo, prosecutors said.

Both men pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to charges of conspiracy to affect commerce by extortion for threatening the owner of the Revere Moose Lodge and another businessman.

The charges center on the extortion of thousands of dollars in protection money from Boston-area Constitution Vending, a slot-machine manufacturer, and the Revere Moose Lodge social club.

Spagnolo allegedly took control of the New England Mafia when Anthony DiNunzio was sent to prison.

READ: January 2011, Mafia Takedown Day
Constitution Vending Co. had been setting up illegal poker machines in local bars and restaurants and splitting the profits with the bar owners for more than a decade. During the time that racket was in place, the company had paid Quintana and Spagnolo protection payments, or "rent payments," according to prosecutors.

When the Revere Moose Lodge turned to another company to install some machines, Spagnolo and Quintana intervened and allegedly threatened those involved, thereby earning their pay.

Basically, for their help in fending off any competition, the two mobsters pocketed more than $50,000 from 2004 to 2012.

Quintana and Spagnolo were not required to acknowledge their reputed Mafia membership.

Both supposedly attended the infamous October 1989 Mafia induction meeting in Medford that was secretly recorded by the FBI.