Queens residents in Genovese crime family charged with racketeering

Five residents from Whitestone, Bayside and Oakland Gardens are among 18 individuals from the Genovese organized crime family charged with racketeering, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
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Three Whitestone residents, one Bayside resident and one Oakland Gardens resident are among 18 individuals from the Genovese organized crime family who have been indicted on racketeering offenses, including conspiracy to commit murder and illegal gambling, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced last week.

Of the 18 defendants charged, 17 are in custody, including 13 defendants who were arrested May 13 as part of a collaborative effort by the FBI, NYPD and Nassau County Police Department, according to Bharara.

The 17 defendants in custody—who hail from Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Long Island—were scheduled to be appear May 13 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis in Manhattan federal court, Bharara said.

“With today’s charges, we strike an important blow against the Genovese crime family,” he said. “Whether you are an old school made member of the mob or a young street criminal looking to join it, the message today is clear: The life of a mobster is a dead-end street that ends nowhere good.”

Robert Debello, 74, of Whitestone, known as “Old Man,” “Bobby” and “Grandpa”; Steven Pastore, 56, of Staten Island; Ryan Ellis, 34, of Bayside, known as “Joseph Princi,” “Baldy,” “Lazy Eye” and “Zeus”; and Salvatore Delligatti, 40, of Oakland Gardens, known as “Jay” and “Fat Sal,” were members or associates of the organized crime family, according to the indictment.

Debello was a soldier, reporting directly to a captain in the Genovese family, often at a social club in Lower Manhattan, the indictment said.

From about 2008 to around May 2016, Debello, Pastore, Ellis and Delligatti took part in the criminal affairs of the Genovese family through a pattern of racketeering activity, the indictment continued.

Debello, Ellis and Delligatti conspired to commit a murder in 2014, an attempted murder, extortion and participate in an illegal gambling business as well as carrying out firearm offenses, the court documents said.

Pastore was also involved in the operation of an illegal gambling business, the indictment said.

Five of the other defendants, including Luigi Romano, 38, of Whitestone, known as “Louie Sunoco,” conspired along with Delligatti, one of the Genovese family associates, to commit a murder for hire and committed a related firearms offense, the indictment continued.

The remaining nine defendants were involved in the operation of the illegal gambling business, the indictment added.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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Reader feedback

Joe from Queens says:
Deport them.
May 19, 2016, 10:12 am
michael pinucchio from howard beach says:
these people are animals, savage thugs and they are oldenough to be your great grandfather..pittyful
May 22, 2016, 1:44 pm
Nicky from Whitestone says:
What a waste of human life!
May 26, 2016, 6:42 pm
Joe Bagetta from New York Queens says:
The lawyers get rich and their family and friends suffer, I feel so sorry for their children.
May 28, 2016, 6:34 pm
Joe Bagetta from New York Queens says:
The lawyers get rich, and their real family suffers,I feel sorry for their wife 's and children , The Honor is long gone.
May 28, 2016, 6:41 pm
Joe Bagetta from New York Queens says:
The days of honor are gone, the lawyers get rich , and their lives are forever scared ,they let their family down.
May 28, 2016, 6:48 pm
Vinny bagels from Howard beach says:
Pretty rare to see a Genevese bust
May 30, 2016, 8:35 am
Carole Pepperdino from Little Italy - Galt Ocean Florida says:
Its sad that my people are getting busted even in a modern age!
June 1, 2016, 10:49 pm

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