More than 120 suspected mobsters were arrested in yesterday’s massive mafia bust. And along with the arrests came hundreds of pages of court documents detailing alleged illegal activity taking place across three states: New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. From allegations of extortion in Midtown Manhattan and murder in Queens, to strip clubs in Providence and gambling on Long Island, allow TPM to take you on a little tour of the underworld:
Strip Clubs, Rhode Island
Two alleged mobsters in Rhode Island (one who’s 83 and another who’s 63) are accused of extorting two strip clubs in Providence for “protection money” dating back to 1993.
Luigi “Louie” Manocchino (also known as “Baby Shacks,” “The Professor” and “The Old Man”) and Thomas Iafrate are accused of extorting money from the Satin Doll and Cadillac Lounge.
A website for the Satin Doll has been suspended. But one online review didn’t exactly sing the strip club’s praises.
“The dances are full contact, but the girls don’t really pay any special attention to places that need special attention,” blogger Peter Tips wrote back in 2009. “Most of the girls could have stood to lose 50 pounds.”
The Cadillac Lounge describes itself as the “Best Mens Club In The Northeast,” with three floors with “non stop entertainment.” According to its website, patrons can experience exotic dancing, full bottle service and a VIP champagne room. They have over 200 exotic dancers, according to their website, which features several women posing with vintage cars.
A manager at the Cadillac Lounge had no comment on the indictment.
Pizzeria, Staten Island
Salvatore Larosa is accused of conspiring with others to rob an unidentified pizzeria in Staten Island, NY. Larosa is also accused to brandishing and firing a gun during the crime.
Sitt Asset Management, New York City
According to the Feds, Gambino family associates Anthony “Tony O” O’Donnell, Anthony Scibelli and others used “actual and threatened force, violence and fear” to extort money from the owners of the Sitt Asset Management company. According to Sitt’s website, the company is headquartered at One Penn Plaza, New York City, and its holdings include 1466 Broadway, the former Knickerbocker Hotel, in Times Square. Other holdings are located in New Jersey, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida and Tennessee. Founded by Ralph Tawill “more than a decade ago,” the company is run by Tawill’s grandsons: Eddie, Ralph, David and Jack Sitt.
Shamrock Bar, Queens
Gambino family administration member Bartolomeo Vernace, also known as “Pepe,” “Bobby,” “Bobby Glasses” and “Robert,” is charged in the double murder of Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese that occurred in 1981 at the Shamrock Bar, which was located at 86-09 Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens. (The spot is now apparently a beauty parlor.) The provocation for the murders, according to the Associated Press, was an argument stemming from a spilled drink.
Vernace’s lawyer, Gerald Shargel, told The New York Times that Vernace was acquitted on the murder charges in state court in 2002.
Gambling Clubs, Long Island
Some of the mobsters are alleged to have run illegal gambling operations at a variety of locations in Long Island, Staten Island, Bohemia and Westbury, NY.
In one case, former Suffolk County police officer Robert Dito (who was assigned to investigate illegal gambling) allegedly conspired to protect a gambling operation at a Long Island club by tipping off owners to police raids.
The indictments don’t specify exactly what locations the illegal gambling clubs were being held at. But they do give a broad description of their locations. The feds describe the clubs as 9th Ave Club, Keyland Avenue Club, Knickerbocker Avenue Club, Oser Avenue Club, Keyland Avenue Club, Johnson Avenue Club, Raynor Avenue Club, Veterans Memorial Highway Club and the Motor Avenue Club. They say they are located in Ronkonkoma, Bohemia, Hauppauge and Suffolk County.
Check out our interactive map:
View TPM’s Guide To Mobster Country in a larger map
Additional reporting, research and graphics by Alex Sciuto.