Genovese Family Captain Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder, Racketeering, Robbery, Extortion, Firearms, and Other Crimes
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ANGELO PRISCO, a captain in the Genovese Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced today to life in prison by United States District Judge NAOMI REICE BUCHWALD in Manhattan federal court.
PRISCO was convicted on April 27, 2009, after a two-week jury trial, of murder, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, robbery, extortion, firearms offenses, arson, stolen property offenses, loansharking, and operating an illegal gambling business.
According to documents filed in this case, the evidence at trial, and statements made at today's sentencing proceeding: PRISCO was "made," or inducted, as a member of the Genovese Organized Crime Family in the late 1970s, and was later promoted to the supervisory position of captain. In his capacity as a captain, PRISCO supervised, oversaw, and profited from the criminal activities of his own crew of Genovese Family Soldiers and associates, which operated in the New York City area and in New Jersey.
On June 2, 1992, PRISCO arranged the murder of his first cousin, ANGELO SANGIUOLO. PRISCO received the order to kill SANGIUOLO from VINCENT GIGANTE, a/k/a "The Chin," who was then the boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family.
GIGANTE ordered the murder because SANGIUOLO had been stealing from another Genovese Organized Crime Family soldier, ANTHONY PALUMBO. PRISCO assigned two of his own crew members, JOHN LETO, a/k/a "Johnny Balls," and PAUL GACCIONE, a/k/a "Doc," to carry out the murder. PRISCO then devised a plan to lure SANGIUOLO to PRISCO's Bronx, New York, social club.
After SANGIUOLO arrived, PRISCO told him to get into a van with LETO and GACCIONE, on the pretense that LETO and GACCIONE would help SANGIUOLO with a problem SANGIUOLO was having with another person. Inside the van, LETO shot SANGIUOLO numerous times, killing him, then left his body in the back of the van in the parking lot of a Bronx McDonald's.
PRISCO then picked up LETO at the McDonald's, and went with him to dispose of the murder weapon. PRISCO also was convicted of conspiring to commit robberies with members of his crew. In 1991 and 1992 robberies, PRISCO oversaw various crew members who carjacked and robbed at gunpoint jewelry dealers transporting large quantities of gold and other jewelry they had purchased in the Dominican Republic.
PRISCO received $20,000 in cash from one robbery and a bag of gold worth about $50,000 from another robbery. PRISCO then bragged at his Bronx social club about the armed robberies, passing around a relevant newspaper article.
From 2003 to 2005, PRISCO ordered, approved, and supervised multiple violent home invasion robberies targeting individuals believed to keep cash in their homes, during which numerous victims were tied up and beaten. PRISCO had to "green light" the robberies before they could occur, and received a portion of any money stolen. PRISCO also instructed his crew members to "play dumb" if they discovered they had robbed another person tied to organized crime.
PRISCO also was convicted of committing extortion and conspiracy to commit the extortion of a Manhattan construction company owner. PRISCO and his crew first extorted the victim's company in 1997, when PETER RIZZO, an associate under PRISCO at the time, assaulted and broke a glass coffee pot over the head of the victim's business partner.
Members of PRISCO's crew then pressured the victim and his business partner to drop the charges against RIZZO stemming from this 1997 assault. Seven years later, various other members of PRISCO's crew—acting on his orders and following his advice about how to collect the money—returned to the same construction company and threatened to cut off the victim's finger and harm the victim's family.
The victim paid PRISCO and his crew a total of $50,000. Since the 1990s, PRISCO has extorted various other individuals and businesses, including the owner of a diner in the Bronx; the owner of a night club in Manhattan; and an electrical contractor in Brooklyn.
United States Attorney PREET BHARARA stated, "This conviction and the life sentence imposed today on Angelo Prisco puts an end to his decades-long career as a leader of the Genovese Organized Crime Family—one marked by violence and intimidation. Today's sentence, and the dismantling of the defendant's mafia crew, serves as a reminder that those who pledge themselves to a life of crime will pay a high price in the end."
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the FBI; the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation; the Orange County, New York District Attorney's Office; the Westchester County, New York District Attorney's Office; the New York State Police; the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; the New York Police Department; the United States Bureau of Prisons; the Morris County, New Jersey Prosecutor's Office; and the Rockaway Township, New Jersey Police Department for their contributions.