'Tony the Wig,' 'Big Vinny' and 44 More Alleged Mobsters Arrested in Federal Crackdown
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that the "charges ... demonstrate that the mob remains a scourge on this city and around the country"
More than 40 alleged members of the some of the East Coast’s largest organized crime families were accused this week of loan-sharking, gambling, extortion, gun-running, drug offenses and various violent crimes, PEOPLE confirms.
The charges “demonstrate that the mob remains a scourge on this city and around the country,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors in New York handed down a 32-page indictment Thursday, naming 46 people. The crackdown netted the arrests of leaders, soldiers and associates of the East Coast La Cosa Nostra, with affiliations to the Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Bonanno and Philadelphia organized crime families, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to the indictment, which was obtained by PEOPLE, the defendants also face charges related to financial scams they’d allegedly hatched involving the sale of untaxed cigarettes. Many are also charged with credit-card and health-care fraud, according to the statement.
“Today’s mafia is fully diversified in its boundless search for illegal profits,” Bharara said. “And as alleged, threatening to assault, maim and kill people who get in the way of their criminal schemes remains the go-to play in the mob’s playbook.”
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Among those charged are New Yorkers Agostino “Augie” Camacho, 40, of Yonkers; Mitchell Fusco, 52, of Yonkers; Richard LaCava, 67, of Pelham; Mark “Stymie” Maiuzzo, 37, of Scarsdale; Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello, 72, of Tuckahoe; Vincent “Big Vinny” Terracciano, 40, of Yonkers; Joseph Tomanelli, 70, of Yonkers; Anthony “Tony the Wig” Vazzano, 51, of Brewster; and Bradford Wedra, 61, of Mount Vernon.
The indictment identifies the alleged criminal enterprise leaders as suspected Genovese crime family captain Parrello; Joseph Merlino, of the Philadelphia area; and Genovese acting captain Eugene “Rooster” O’Nofrio, of East Haven, Connecticut.
Parrello, according to the indictment, allegedly ran operations out of Pasquale’s Rigoletto, a restaurant in the Arthur Avenue area of the Bronx.
Among other alleged incidents, he once allegedly ordered Anthony “Anthony Boy” Zinzi and the late Ronald “The Beast” Mastrovincenzo to assault a panhandler who’d been approaching customers in a parking lot of his restaurant. Parrello instructed his associates to break the panhandler’s knees, the indictment alleges.
Federal authorities further allege that a number of the suspects had concocted a scheme to use credit-card skimmers to steal personal account information. They also allegedly targeted the health insurance system using corrupt doctors to issue unneeded and excessive prescriptions.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking the forfeiture of property and profit from the illegal operations.
At least 39 of the defendants have been taken into custody, but none have had an opportunity to enter pleas to the charges against them, authorities said.
Court records did not indicate whether any of the defendants had retained attorneys who could speak on their behalf.