Less than a month after purchasing a Jamaica demolition lot that was owned by a member of the Gotti family was sold, a group of Queens auto workers used the business to rake in hundreds of dollars for providing stolen cars for scrap metal, the Queens district attorney said.
The men, four of whom were tow truck drivers, stole 21 vehicles that were parked all over the borough during a five-month period last year, Queens DA Richard Brown said.
The five suspects would allegedly take the vehicles to a Jamaica scrap yard, A&J Scrap Metal Processing, where they would reportedly pocket $200 to $400 a vehicle, according to Brown.
“As the price of scrap metal increases, thieves are growing more aggressive and taking advantage of a quirk in the law in which they can dispose of vehicles eight years or older without proof of title,” he said in a statement.
The business, at 95-49 Tuckerton St., was purchased from Victoria Gotti’s former husband and reputed Gambino crime family member Carmine Angello in April by a group called Three Sons Real Estate Group LLC, according to records on the city Department of Finance website.
The city records list the company address as Gotti’s Long Island home, but there is no name listed as the company’s registered agent on the state Division of Corporations’ database.
A worker at the scrap metal yard declined to comment about the arrests.
The suspects included Michael Olivio, 42, of 110th Street in Richmond Hill; Lawrence Bellino, 37, of 91st Street in Howard Beach; Jonathan Colon, 35, of Parsons Boulevard in Flushing; Francisco Adames, 40, of Freeport, L.I.; and LePaul Gammons, who resides upstate, the DA said.
All were arraigned last Thursday on several charges including criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and offering a false instrument for filing, according to Brown. Gammons was additionally charged with grand larceny, Brown said.
The group would deliver the stolen cars, which ranged from a 1983 Oldsmobile Delta 88 to a 2008 Ford Econoline van, to the scrap metal shop between May and October, the DA said.
They would allegedly present a state DMV form MV-35, which is used to transfer a vehicle at least eight model years old and worth less then $1,250, to a vehicle dismantler, when the owner does not have the title, and either list themselves as a delivery agent or the owner, according to the DA.
The cars would be crushed for scrap metal and the group would collect the money, Brown said.
Four tow trucks were confiscated as part of the investigation, according to the DA.
If convicted on their charges, the men face up to four years in prison, Brown said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2011 Community News Group
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