The family that deals drugs together goes to jail together.
A Whitestone woman admitted guilt in federal court on Monday to charges that she helped to smuggle in cocaine through the Corona restaurant she owned with her husband and their son, federal prosecutors announced.
Eleanora Gigliotti, 55, pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 to a charge of conspiring to import cocaine and could serve anywhere between five and 40 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Sources said she also agreed to forfeit $1.6 million in assets to the federal government.
Gigliotti’s spouse — Gregorio Gigliotti, who reportedly has ties to organized crime — and their son, Angelo Gigliotti, were previously convicted for their roles in the drug smuggling ring and are awaiting sentencing, prosecutors noted.
The Gigliottis reside in the Malba section of Whitestone and operated Cucino Amodo Mio, located at 51-01 108th St. in Corona. In addition to serving pizza and Italian food, law enforcement agents said, the family used the restaurant as a front to import large shipments of cocaine from Costa Rica concealed in boxes containing yucca for eventual sale on the street.
Reportedly, the smuggling operation started sometime in 2012, after Gregory Gigliotti struck a deal with a known drug smuggler who later turned into a government informant. Federal prosecutors said the informant obtained a license to import yucca, and used that privilege to traffic in large amounts of cocaine.
The drug smugglers concealed the cocaine inside the cardboard flaps of boxes containing yucca in order to avoid detection by customs and other law enforcement agents.
The Gigliottis were initially arrested on March 11, 2015, for their alleged roles in the smuggling operation. Twelve others connected to the ring were subsequently indicted.