“Jimmy Balls” Got Nabbed For 2017 Home Invasion Of Real Housewives Star -- And Had New York Mafia Ties

A career criminal with ties to New York-based organized crime was arrested yesterday (Friday, May 3) at his New Jersey home for a violent 2017 home invasion that involved a baseball bat and a foxy reality television star.

Dina Manzo, RHNJ star.

The Holmdel and Bayonne Police Departments, with the U.S. Marshals Service, yesterday morning arrested James (Jimmy Balls) Mainello, 51, without incident (PDF of criminal complaint), naming him as one of two suspects being sought for committing the violent home invasion robbery of David Cantin and fiance Claudine “Dina” Manzo, an actress on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

The robbery happened on a May night in 2017. Two home invaders -- one was described as "an Italian guy with a North Jersey accent" -- broke into and hid inside the then-engaged couple's North Jersey townhouse (with a baseball bat) and waited. Manzo, then 46, and Cantin, then 37, walked in and the thugs brutally set on them, beating, restraining, and robbing the pair, and reportedly telling them: "This is what happens when you f*** with people from Paterson."

Mainello has been tied to the Luchese crime family.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced the arrest yesterday in a media release. He didn't mention what suddenly put law enforcement on Jimmy Balls  -- and he also didn't offer any kind of update about the second suspect in the robbery.

The media has widely covered the arrest, but only one local news outlet apparently did some sleuthing and found Mainello's ties to organized crime and the Luchese crime family.

New Jersey 101.5, describing the case as "the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" meets The Sopranos," noted that Jimmy Balls was a career criminal with ties to the New York Mafia, and that during a 2009 court hearing, a judge specifically mentioned the Luchese crime family.

Mainello, of Bayonne, is charged with robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes (each in the first-, second-, and third-degrees) and third-degree criminal restraint.

He is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township pending his appearance at the Monmouth County Superior Court sometime next week. A detention hearing is also expected to be scheduled to determine whether Mainello will be released or detained pending trial.

 "An Italian guy with a North Jersey accent" told the pair: "This is what happens when you f*** with people from Paterson."

Mainello has criminal convictions in New Jersey dating back to the late 1980s, including a nine-year burglary sentence in 1994.

In 2005, federal prosecutors in New York tied him to an organized crime robbery conspiracy, for which he was convicted. He was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and then placed on three months of house arrest in 2009 after violating the conditions of his supervised release. At a hearing related to the violation, a federal judge ordered Mainello not to "associate with any member or associate of the Luchese organized crime family" or any crime family, New Jersey 101.5 reported.

At about 10:54 p.m. on May 13, 2017, a 911 call reporting a home invasion summoned the Holmdel Police to a townhouse on Banyan Boulevard.

Police responded and found the two victims, David Cantin and Dina Manzo, who reported that, as they entered the front door to their residence, two men waiting inside the home confronted them.

One of the two men struck Cantin several times with a baseball bat while Manzo was punched multiple times by the other assailant. The two victims were then bound together within the home, and their attackers stole cash and jewelry before fleeing.

Jimmy Balls who judge warned not to associate with Luchese crime family.

Cantin was able to free himself and called police, who arrived shortly thereafter.

Both victims were subsequently taken to a local hospital for treatment -- Cantin suffered "significant" facial injuries, including a broken nose, and Manzo was also treated for facial injuries -- and released on the same night.

“I want to congratulate our investigations team and our counterparts at the Holmdel Police Department for never letting up on finding answers for these violent crimes. Dogged determination and a lot of good old-fashioned police work went into making this arrest possible,” Gramiccioni said.

If convicted of a first degree crime, Mainello faces up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison on each count.

Monmouth County also is requesting help: "Anyone with additional information about his activities or about this case is asked to contact Detective Wayne Raynor of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443, or Detective Eric Hernando of the Holmdel Police Department at 732-946-4400."

In the 2005 Federal case, Mainello was indicted with Christopher (Moose) McCabe, Glenn Guadagno and son Glenn Jr., Benjamin Garcia, Victor (KV) Torres, Oneil (Green Eyes) Perez, and Miguel (Marky) Cordova.

The indictment included a Hobbs Act conspiracy charge that involved a scheme “to commit a robbery in the home of a Long Beach business owner, whom the defendants [McCabe, Guadagno, Jr., and Mainello] believed possessed approximately $500,000 in cash.”

Why are the police apparently not mentioning Jimmy Balls' mob ties, we wonder....