East Coast LCN Enterprise Capo in Genovese Crime Family Sentenced

On Thursday ( July 19), in Manhattan Federal Court, alleged Genovese capo Eugene (Rooster) Onofrio, 76, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for loan sharking.

The wiseguy, 76, was only trying to relive the glory days, his lawyer had argued. 

The loansharking was an attempt--- a not very bright one, at that ---to relive his glory days, his lawyer sought to argue Thursday.

Onofrio was arrested in 2016, one of the 46 alleged members of the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, and Philadelphia crime families indicted for operating a so-called "East Coast LCN Enterprise," as the Fed's named it.

Onofrio also pleaded guilty to hustling untaxed cigarettes.

Onofrio was caught in a 2014 secretly recorded conversation discussing how to collect an interest payment of $600 on a $30,000 loan.

“What do I got to do with him?” Onofrio, of East Haven, Conn., asked. "Do you have to take his eyes out?

But hey, those threats were all talk, Onofrio’s attorney, Thomas Nooter, argued at the sentencing, noting that his client was merely seeking to boost his street cred. He was actually a law-abiding citizen living on Social Security.

“He was living the glory days back when there was a Genovese crime family,” Nooter said. Then he blamed a mob snitch for prompting Onofrio to return to crime.

Judge Richard Sullivan detailed how witnesses said Onofrio was an acting capo who ran crews on Mulberry St. in Little Italy.

“It’s not like Al Pacino in ‘The Godfather III’ — ‘Oh, every time I’m out, they pull me back in,’ ” Sullivan said.
Alleged Genovese capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello copped last year----and got about three times Rooster's sentence.

Onofrio’s criminal record goes back decades (and decades) to 1971, the judge noted. Rooster had served lengthy prison sentences for manslaughter ---- the victim had been shot five times and run over with a vehicle --- and cocaine trafficking.

Rooster had numerous opportunities to turn his life around, Sullivan said. Then he imposed sentence.

Onofrio only said: “You won’t see me again.”

Alleged Philadelphia mob boss Joey (Skinny Joey) Merlino — is awaiting sentencing.

Onofrio, Merlino, and alleged Genovese capo Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello were charged with running the East Coast LCN Enterprise.

In September 2017, the very same judge blasted Parello and sentenced him to seven years in prison — saying he should have avoided the mob if he didn't want to die in prison.

“There’s a long history of capos who have died in prison,” Judge Sullivan coldly told the 73-year-old wiseguy beore handing down the sentence — which caused the people packing the courtroom to emit an audible gasp.

“You must have understood this, you had 88 months to think about it before,” he added.

The judge was referencing the reputed capo’s previous prison sentence on racketeering charges, and then referenced the piles of letters submitted on his behalf, calling the mobster a kind, generous, charitable man.

“[The letters] can’t be a get out of jail free card when they’ve been used before,” the judge bristled. “He did take for granted a second chance.”

The judge also scorned claims made by defense attorney Mark DeMarco regarding his client’s intense Roman Catholicism and his faith.

“I don’t think Roman Catholicism takes a favorable view toward extortion,” Sullivan said, interrupting the attorney.

Parrello — who is mostly deaf and kept his index finger inserted in his left ear throughout the two-hour sentencing— pleaded guilty to various extortion charges last year.

Prosecutors said Parrello instructed henchmen on how to shake down debtors behind on payments, often calling for --- what else?---violence.

“First of all, I’d like to apologize for everything that transpired,” the frail-looking mafioso told the court. “I feel remorse for all the things I’ve done, and I’ve taken responsibility and am just trying to be a better person.”