Malba family awaits sentencing in smuggling conspirancy run from Corona restaurant

Malba family awaits sentencing in smuggling conspirancy run from Corona restaurant
In better times Corona restaurant owner Gregorio Gigliotti prepares for the 2014 World Cup. Now he and his son await sentencing for operating a cocaine ring while his wife Eleonora pleads guilty to one count of conspirancy to import cocaine.
Photo by Bill Parry
By Bill Parry

The matriarch of a mob-connected family from the Malba section of Whitestone is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiring to import cocaine in Brooklyn federal court.

Eleonora Gigliotti, 55, faces a mandatory sentence of five years in prison and also agreed to pay a $1.6 million forfeiture judgment under which the government has already seized cash, cars and firearms, court officials said.

Her husband Gregorio and son Angelo, both reputed Genovese crime family associates, were convicted in July of operating a transnational cocaine trafficking operation from their family-owned Corona restaurant, Cucino Amodo Mio, located at 51-01 108th St.

Evidence presented at the trial, including court-authorized wiretaps and physical surveillance, revealed the Gigliottis operated several businesses that were used to facilitate their narcotics-trafficking operation.

In October 2014, law enforcement intercepted a shipment of cassava that was sent to the Unted States from Costa Rica. The shipment contained nearly 40 kilograms of cocaine secreted inside cardboard boxes of cassava.

Earlier, Eleonora Gigliotti traveled to Costa Rica with more than $360,000 in cash that she delivered to the sources of supply, according to trial records. The Gigliotti defendants were arrested on March 11, 2015 in New York.

That same day, law enforcement searched Cucino Amodo Mio as well as the Malba residence, seizing one 12-gauge shotgun, one loaded .357 magnum Trooper revolver, one loaded .22 caliber Colt pistol, one .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver, one 9 mm Keltec pistol, one .762 Czech pistol, one .38 caliber Derringer, loose ammunition, holsters, brass knuckles and more than $100,000 in cash, and a drug ledger detailing the disbursement of money made on the sale of narcotics.

Gregorio and Angelo Gigliotti were expected to be sentenced March 20. Had Eleonora Gigliotti gone to trial in March as originally scheduled, she could have gotten life in prison if convicted.

Instead she pleaded guilty to Judge Raymond Dearie and awaits sentencing April 1.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr[email protected]local.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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