Luchese Soldier Eugene (Boopsie) Castelle Guilty Of Racketeering Conspiracy, Illegal Gambling

Luchese soldier Eugene (Boopsie) Castelle was found guilty of conspiracy to commit racketeering and operating an illegal gambling ring after a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

Luchese soldier Eugene (Boopsie) Castelle
Eugene (Boopsie) Castelle 

Castelle, 59, of Staten Island, New York, was arrested in May 2016 with five others for running a $13 million illegal gambling operation. (When they arrested him, he reportedly told law enforcement: "I don't shake hands with cops.")

Castelle also was among 10 wiseguys rounded up in January 2018. Those arrests were focused on alleged Bonanno acting boss Joseph Cammarano Jr. and John (Porky) Zancocchio, reputed consigliere, who were later acquitted by a jury after using a novel ethnic profiling defense.

He was found guilty yesterday of one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, which carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of operation of an illegal gambling business, which carries a maximum potential sentence of five years.

The jury acquitted him of one count of attempted extortion.

“For years, Eugene Castelle used intimidation and threats of violence to line his pockets as a member of the Luchese Family of La Cosa Nostra," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman  said in a statement announcing the verdict.

"Castelle now stands convicted of serious federal crimes. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate and prosecute members of the Mafia.”

The six arrested in 2016 initially faced a 37-count indictment. Arrested with Castelle were Anthony Grecco of Howard Beach, Queens; Gaetano “Tommy” Zuccarello of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn; Theodore (“Teddy”) Vasilakis of Rego Park, Queens; Ioannis “John” Dinos of Astoria, Queens; and Vincent Mormile of Staten Island.

Because Castelle was found guilty of non-violent crimes, he remains out on $500,000 bail pending sentencing by Judge Hellerstein on September 20.

As per the indictment and evidence presented during trial, between 2012 and January 2018, Castelle as a soldier in the Luchese family, used his position to receive thousands of dollars over multiple years from a large-scale illegal sports betting operating through off-shore websites in Costa Rica.

Castelle protected the business from other mobsters, used threats of violence to collect debts owed to the business, and extorted the racket's bookmaker for annual payments.

Other racketeering acts he was convicted for include holding a “no show” job as a carpenter at a construction project where he was paid a carpenter’s wages for months "without ever settting foot on the jobsite."

Castelle previously served 88 months in federal prison for racketeering, prosecutors said.