Body-Worn Camera Footage Spotlights Caponegro Brothers’ Garden State Reign Of Terror

We've written about these guys -- and now, working with sources including from law enforcement, we've gotten access to additional bodycam videos from incidents involving Greg Caponegro and an unlucky tenant who Greg threatened with homicidal violence and attempted to extort simply because the tenant wanted to break a monthly lease.

A word about body-cam video: In the past few years police departments across the country have been rolling out body-worn camera programs.

 Just recently in New York, an appeals court ruling halted “years of drift into the fog of secrecy,” and declared that authorities are free to release body-cam video to the public, the Daily News recently reported.

“The whole point of the cameras is to expose what actually happened in tense encounters between police and civilians. A mockery is made of that purpose when video is kept under lock and key,” as the News noted.

We noted that at least five families who rented property in the Garden State have been terrorized by the Caponegro brothers – Joseph (Joey Waterbed) and Greg—and that the police finally arrested Greg a few weeks back for alleged crimes committed against one of those former tenants and his then-pregnant wife after the two had been illegally locked out of their home and had had their lives threatened.

Joe Caponegro, who was an associate in the Genovese crime family’s North Jersey crew under late capo Tino Fiumara, secretly became a government informant; he was later described as a key player in one of the most successful waterfront racketeering cases in decades.

Joey Waterbed Caponegro helped the feds convict 21 gangsters and corrupt union officials of racketeering on the New Jersey piers. The charges were a part of the FBI roundup of 127 mob-connected gangsters from six states on Mafia Takedown Day 2011.

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And today the Caponegro brothers are running a real-estate extortion enterprise supposedly worth $30 million. In recent years they have threatened several families who rented from them in a bid to fill their pockets.


Back in February 2012, Joe Caponegro argued that a sweetheart deal he got from the feds wasn’t sweet enough—that he didn't want to spend 14 months in prison and that he shouldn't have to, he argued in an appeal filed in an effort to get a lighter sentence.

The move was highly unusual for a government informant who had already gotten his 5K letter from Brooklyn federal prosecutors. Caponegro claimed the court had put too much weight on one of his old assault arrests. But prosecutors insisted the sentence still “was substantially below” what the wiseguy otherwise would have received under federal guidelines had he not been an informant.

Only five years prior, in February 2008, New York’s Eastern District provided insight about him in a letter written to keep the Genovese associate in prison.

Caponegro “poses a significant danger to the community," prosecutors noted. "Specifically, Caponegro has recently – and repeatedly -- discussed engaging in and actually engaged in violence. In addition, because he faces a lengthy period of incarceration, he poses a risk of flight.”

The letter further noted that, as alleged in the criminal complaint filed against Caponegro, he was involved in loansharking and other crimes and was actually captured on tape assaulting debtor John Doe.

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During the recording, John Doe can be heard gasping for air, asking Caponegro to leave him alone, and stating that he (the debtor) cannot breathe. That single act was part of a “wider loansharking conspiracy and extortionate collection of credit from John Doe.”

In addition, after the physical assault, Caponegro continued to verbally threaten John Doe, telling the debtor: “you did the wrong thing to the wrong person,” and “you got to live in fear now, you hear me, you got to live in fear now.”

The threats against John Doe included “thinly veiled references to organized crime,” and “led the debtor to believe that his failure to pay would result in physical harm at the hands of Caponegro and/or his organized crime associates.”

Caponegro also displayed a handgun and taser weapon to John Doe, and stated that John Doe was “lucky” that he didn’t use the taser on him.

Caponegro also was caught on wiretap discussing another extortionate collection and planned assault.

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On April 24, 2008, in a telephone call to a debtor (who is not the John Doe alleged in the complaint), Caponegro stated that the debtor had to pay or “I’ll bust your fcking head open.”

Thereafter, in a May 7, 2008 call to the same debtor, Caponegro stated that the debtor was required to call him or “I’m leaving the house and I’m coming to hunt you down. You better call me right the fck now.” The debtor then called Caponegro back, during which call Caponegro stated: “You’re going to see my teeth now. Twenty-two weeks of hell. You don’t think you’re going to pay for that? I’m a grown m----f---ing man -- I’m an Italian man. I ain’t no motherfucking porkchop. M-----f---er. M-----f---er.”

In a May 13, 2008 call with another person regarding the debtor, Caponegro stated: “I am going to tell you something. I am going to be honest with you. If he does not pay me by seven o’clock tonight, I am breaking his legs. And don’t be mad at me. I am telling you right now, I am going to put him in the hospital. Out of respect for you I am telling you that I am going to break his legs.” Thereafter, due to the specific nature of Caponegro’s threats, the FBI warned the debtor that he was at risk of being assaulted

The next day, May 14, 2008, Caponegro admitted to damaging the debtor’s property over the debt.

In a call to the debtor on that date, Caponegro stated:

I cut all the tires on your fcking car just now... If the money ain’t at my m-----f---ing house by three o’clock, I’m coming to Newark, I’m kicking the door down. I’ll bust everybody’s head in in that house tomorrow. You hear me? Do you hear me?

Thereafter, also on May 14, in a call with a criminal associate regarding the debtor, Caponegro stated:

I’m on a fucking warpath. If I could get you both together tonight I would be in jail.. . .He needs four new  m-----f---ing  tires. Okay, and you can tell him I did it. I did it. As God as my witness I did it. I catch him tonight I will put him in the fcking hospital. You hear me?

Later in the conversation, Caponegro reiterated, “I cut his tires… come Friday I want what’s mine from you… I’m telling you this, m-----f---er, I want my six hundred forty dollars m-----f---ing tomorrow. If it ain’t at my house I’m going to fcking Newark. I’ll bust his fcking father’s head open. This is the frame of mind I’m in. Alright?”

The letter also noted that Caponegro had a number of other convictions in New Jersey state court, including a fourth-degree larceny conviction in October1988 and drug-related convictions in April 1988, May 1989 and September 1989.