Crime Watch - Queens Gazette

2022-08-27 00:12:55 By : Ms. catherine dong

Feds Nab Mobsters, Nassau Cop, in Illegal Betting Rings

Federal agents who came calling for operators of illegal gambling rings in Queens and Long Island last week, rounded up eight alleged members of the Bonanno and Genovese crime families and an allegedly crooked Long Island cop, prosecutors said.

In what law enforcement sources described as an “unusual arrangement,” members of the two crime families worked together to run a lucrative gambling ring out of the Gran Caffé in Lynbrook, L.I. beginning in May 2012, out of illegal poker games and gambling machines at soccer clubs in Queens, Valley Stream and West Babylon and out of a Genovese -run front dubbed “Sal’s Shoe Repair” in Merrick, Long Island, federal prosecutors said.

“This case is further proof that organized crime is alive and well,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. “These violent criminal organizations operated secret underground gambling parlors in local commercial establishments, assisted by a sworn member of law enforcement.”

Nassau County Detective Hector Rosario, 49, of Mineola, Long Island, is accused of arranging police raids at competing gambling dens in exchange for cash from the Bonannos, obstructing a grand jury investigation and lying to the FBI. The veteran cop was released on a $500,000 bond, authorities said.

“Even more disturbing is the shameful conduct of a detective who betrayed his oath of office…when he allegedly aligned himself with criminals,” Brooklyn U.S Attorney Breen Peace said at a press conference announcing the takedowns.

The alleged mobsters and their associates were slapped with federal charges including racketeering, money laundering and illegal gambling, prosecutors said.

Carmelo “Carmine” Polito, an alleged acting captain of the Genovese crime family, was also charged with running an illegal online sports-betting operation through a website called, “PGW Lines,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Polito allegedly threatened to “break” a debtor’s face in 2019, before ordering an underling to deliver the message: “Tell him I’m going to put him under the f—ing bridge.”

Seven of the alleged mobsters including, “Joe the Fish,” Macario, “Sal the Shoemaker,” Rubino and “Little Anthony” Pepitone pleaded not guilty on August 16th in Brooklyn Federal Court and were released on bail ranging from $150,000 to $2 million,

Alleged Bonanno soldier, Vito Pipitone, was taken into custody in Florida on August 16th, prosecutors said.

An eighth alleged mobster, Genovese associate, Joseph “Joe Box” Rutigliano, 68, of Commack, Long Island, remained at large as of August 23rd, prosecutors said.

The defendants are due back in court on September 13th.

Hunt Suspects in Astoria Armed Robbery

Police are seeking help from the public to identify and locate two armed suspects who held up patrons at an Astoria coffee shop during a daylight robbery on August 16th.

Cops said the brazen bandits rode up on a motorcycle outside the Under Pressure Espresso Bar at 30-92 31st Street in Astoria just before 3:30 p.m., where they flashed two handguns and told patrons at a sidewalk café, “Do what we say, and no one will get hurt.” The bandits grabbed jewelry and watches from three customers, then fled the scene on the motorcycle, police said.

The armed robbery took place just across the street from the Queens office of City Councilmember Tiffany Caban. Caban’s offices in Astoria and Manhattan did not immediately respond to emails and calls seeking comment.

The suspects are described as dark-skinned males, 25-30 years old, who were dressed in all black clothing and black sneakers at the time of the holdup.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-Tips, visit: www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or go to Twitter @NYPDTips.

The Hotline is offering a reward of up to $2,500 to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

3 Pedestrians Struck by Car in Jackson Heights

Three Jackson Heights residents remain in critical condition after they were struck by a car on Northern Boulevard early Saturday, police said.

Cops said the victims, men ages 25, 28 and 32, were attempting to cross Northern Boulevard near 86th Street in Jackson Heights at about 4:40 a.m. on August 20th when the driver of a red BMW appeared to lose control of the vehicle and plowed into them, before crashing into a nearby utility pole.

Police responding to 911 calls found the victims sprawled across Northern Boulevard, an NYPD spokesperson said. Two of the men were unconscious and unresponsive and a third man was “barely conscious” and unresponsive when police arrived at the scene, the spokesperson said.

A team of FDNY medics rushed the victims to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where they were listed in critical condition.

The 23-year-old driver was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center with cuts and bruises and was expected to be charged with driving while intoxicated, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation by members of the NYPD Accident Investigation Squad.

Victim Critical in Woodside Hit-Run

A 63-year-old Astoria man remains in critical condition this week after he was struck by a hit-run driver in Woodside on August 19th.

Cops said the victim was in a crosswalk attempting to cross Broadway near 64th Street when he was struck by a light-colored vehicle that sped the scene.

Police responding to 911 calls found the man unconscious and unresponsive in the roadway with severe head trauma.

A team of FDNY medics rushed the victim to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he remains in critical condition, police said.

An investigation is ongoing by members of the NYPD Accident Investigation Squad.

Police are urging anyone with information to call the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-Tips, visit: www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or go to Twitter @NYPDTips.

2 Cops, EMT Injured in Brawl with Crazed Suspect

Police arrested a crazed man for hurling a brick at a privately-owned ambulance in Long Island City on August 15th.

A team of FDNY medics who responded to 911 calls found Jose Vazquez walking and ranting erratically at the corner of 48th Street near Vernon Boulevard at about 9:30 p.m., a fire spokesperson said.

When an ambulance from Northwell Health arrived at the scene moments later, Vazquez grabbed a brick and hurled it through the ambulance window, prompting the EMT’s to call police.

Vazquez “went full off-tilt” when officers arrived moments later, a police source said. “He started wrestling with the officers and punched an NYPD sergeant in the face as they were trying to arrest him.” Four people, including two officers and an EMT, suffered minor injuries in the melee, police said. Vazquez was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Man Remains Critical in Jackson Heights Hit-Run

A 45-year-old man continues to fight for his life this week, after he was struck by a hit-run driver in Jackson Heights on August 16th, police said.

Cops said the victim was attempting to cross Roosevelt Avenue near 76th Street just before 2 a.m. when the driver of a black, two-door Honda sedan plowed into him and fled the scene.

Police responding to 911 calls found the victim unconscious and unresponsive in the roadway with severe head and body trauma, an NYPD spokesperson said.

A crew of FDNY medics rushed the victim to Elmhurst Hospital Center where he remains in critical condition.

An investigation is ongoing by members of the NYPD Accident Investigation Squad.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-Tips, visit: www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or go to Twitter @NYPD Tips.

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