Two mob soldiers were caught on a wiretap discussing the slaying of a Mafia boss on Staten Island — with one calling it “a good thing” because their captain would likely gain power as a result, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
The stunningly cold-hearted calculation was revealed in court papers tied to charges against 12 reputed Gambino crime family members and associates in a laundry list of crimes that date back to 2013.
“This investigation makes clear that the Gambino family is thriving, earning millions of dollars through various forms of fraud, bribery, money laundering and extortion, particularly in the construction industry, and distributes these illicit proceeds to other members and associates of La Cosa Nostra,” Brooklyn federal prosecutors Keith Edelman and Kayla Bensing wrote.
The defendants include reputed Gambino soldier Vincent Fiore, 57, who the feds say got a phone call from fellow gangster James Ciaccia, 51, on the morning after the family’s underboss, Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, was gunned down in the street out outside his sprawling Todt Hill home on March 13.
After referring to the “news” and saying he’d read a “short article,” Fiore told Ciaccia that it was “a good thing” because they both reported to captain Andrew Campos, 50, whose power within the Gambino family was likely to rise in the wake of the murder,” court papers say.
Campos, meanwhile, allegedly “met with multiple high-level Gambino family members” to help investigate Cali’s killing, in which Staten Island construction worker Anthony Comello is awaiting trial.
Law-enforcement sources have said Comello is suspected of targeting Cali because the don didn’t want Comello dating his niece, and Thursday’s court filing says that Fiore told his ex-wife that the “possible motive” involved “a woman who had been at Cali’s home that day.”
Fiore and Campos are accused of shaking down an unidentified victim who “provided workers” for a construction company, CWC Contracting Corp., that they and others operated.
During a March 13 conversation over Fiore’s wiretapped cellphone — and which reads like a scene straight out of “Goodfellas” — Fiore allegedly threatened the man for laughing when Fiore complained that his payroll expenses were too high.
“No, you laugh. When you get punched in the face and your teeth get knocked out, ‘cause you’re being a d–k, you’re not going to laugh no more, OK?” Fiore allegedly said.
“You think it’s a f–king joke. Don’t make light of it. Because at the end of the day, this is coming out of your f–king ass.”
Campos – who played high-school football with future rap star Sean “P. Diddy” Combs at Mount St. Michael Academy in The Bronx — previously pleaded guilty in 2005 with another co-defendant, reputed Gambino soldier Richard Martino, in a massive, $500 million scam involving porn websites and 1-800 phone lines offering sex talk, horoscope readings and dating services.
Martino, 60, was ordered to forfeit $9.1 million as part of his plea, and the feds alleged Thursday that he engaged in an elaborate scheme to avoid paying it back while secretly controlling “numerous corporations” that did millions of dollars of business, including construction work and investing in pizzerias.
The feds also noted that during a June 26 raid on Campos’ Scarsdale home, authorities seized photos from his bedroom closet that show him and Martino repeatedly visiting prison to meet with Frank “Frankie Loc” Locascio, who served as underboss to the late “Dapper Don” John Gotti and is serving a life sentence for murder and other crimes.
Other defendants charged Thursday included former pro boxer Adrial Lopez, 56, who’s allegedly “used acts and threats of violence to operate a loansharking business for over a decade, all the while fraudulently obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.”
“Indeed, in one conversation, Lopez opined that Campos would have an individual killed to prevent him from cooperating with the government, adding, ‘That’s what I would do,’” according to court papers.
When Lopez’s home and vehicle were searched Thursday morning, authorities allegedly seized several large knives, including one that appeared to have blood on it, brass knuckles, a ski mask and more than $25,000 in cash.
Eleven of those facing charges were arrested, with one on the lam, authorities said.
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