Gambino associate Peter Tuccio pleads guilty to torching businessman’s Mercedes
Gambino crime family associate Peter Tuccio, 27, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to felony extortion for torching the Mercedes-Benz of a Queens businessman who stopped making his annual payouts to an irate mob captain, the feds announced.
The criminal act didn’t go as planned: Co-conspirator Gino Gabrielli set himself on fire in December of 2015 during an effort to torch a businessman’s Mercedes for not making payments. Security camera footage shows Tuccio and Gabrielli dousing the year-old car with an accelerant, and then fleeing the scene with Gabrielli’s pants ablaze.
Allegedly Gabrielli, accompanied by Tuccio, later turned up at Jamaica Hospital for treatment of his burns. Tuccio will face a mandatory 10 year prison term along with a fine that could cost up to $225,000 in restitution, prosecutors said.
“With today’s guilty plea, Tuccio has been convicted of an offense arising from his efforts to extort a local businessman by brazenly chasing him through the streets and then setting his car ablaze,” said Acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme.
While he was waiting for his court date, the baby-faced Tuccio was seen with reputed Philadelphia boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino during the the mob veteran’s most recent Manhattan Court prosecution. Merlino served 2 years after his 2018 plea deal, and was recently released last year.
The victim was reportedly a local pizzeria owner that Gabrielli, Tuccio, and a third enforcer spotted leaving a Howard Beach smoke shop on December 3rd, 2015. The trio reportedly confronted the man with Tuccio commenting on the 2014 Mercedes before the suspects figured out their plan to burn the luxury car.
The vehicle owner paid around $5,000 to the mob capo after the blaze.
Gabrielli pleaded guilty to the crime in August of 2016, with co-defendant Jonathan Gurino pleading to an extortion count last year. They are both waiting to hear on their sentences.