Prosecutors in Manhattan announced a major indictment against the Bonanno crime family in New York. The indictment on enterprise corruption includes charges against nine members and associates of the Bonanno family including alleged underboss Nicholas “Nicky Mouth” Santora. Along with the mobsters two leaders of the Teamsters Local 917 president Nicholas Bernhard and shop steward Scott O’Neil were also indicted for helping the organized crime family gain book making and loan sharking footholds among members. The Local 917 union handles parking lot and liquor store employees in and around New York. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr said that this indictment demonstrates that the Mafia also known as La Cosa Nostra is not only still operating in New York but it still has its hooks in the labor movement. He went on to say this indictment is a part of a two year joint investigation which included his office and the NYPD Organized Crime Control Bureau.
“Bonanno crew led into Manhattan Court”
The indictment identified Santora as a leading mobster in the Bonanno family and head of the mob crews whose activities are at center of the current charges. Santora is currenrly in prison serving a 20 month sentence for last years guilty plea to federal extortion charges. Arrested and indicted along with Santora were alleged mobsters Vito Badamo identified as an acting capo in the Bonanno family , Anthony Santoro, Anthony Urban, Ernest Aiello also identified as an acting capo, Dominick Siano,and Richard Sinde. The indictment alleges that Aiello and Badamo had crew soldiers reporting to them and they reported directly to Santora. Law enforcement officials said the Santora crew was infiltrated by an undercover posing as a gambler who had lost thousands of dollars and the suspects were tied together with use of wire taps and other surviellance. Source said the alleged mobsters were cautious of wire taps and often used set up meetings among themselves to communicate at favored locations like the Jackson Hole Diner in Queens and the Sunset Diner in Greenpoint.
“Santora Crew Members (left-right) Anthony Santoro (aka “Skinny”), Anthony Urban, Vito Badamo and Nicholas Bernhard wait in court in Manhattan”
The six count indictment contains some mob staples like illegal gambling , extortion, and loan sharking along with enterprise corruption a state version of the federal crime of racketeering among other charges. The defendants face a maximum penalty of 8.5 to 25 years in prison if convicted.