BY TIMOTHY BOLGER AND ROBERT POZARYCKI
Residents of Ozone Park and Whitestone were among seven reputed mobsters arrested on Tuesday for allegedly running loansharking, illegal gambling and drug dealing rings on Long Island and in Brooklyn over the past three years, authorities said.
Federal agents apprehended Frank “Frankie Boy” Salerno, 43, of Whitestone, an alleged Bonanno crime family soldier, as well as Thomas Anzalone, 44, of Ozone Park and Alessandro “Sandro” Damelio, 49, of Whitestone. The latter two suspects are reputed associates of the Gambino crime family.
They were arrested along with Long Island residents John “Johnny Boy” Ambrosio, 74, and Anthony Rodolico, 46; the Huntington residents were charged along with 67-year-old Anthony Saladino and 26-year-old Joseph Durso, both of Glen Cove.
All are facing racketeering conspiracy charges in a 13-count indictment unsealed on Dec. 12 at Central Islip federal court.
“The arrests in this case prove organized crime families haven’t gone away, and continue to plague our communities with their general disregard for anything other than their own greed,” said William Sweeney, Jr., assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York Field office. “The overt deadly attacks that used to make headlines aren’t as prevalent, but their violent tactics haven’t changed.”
According to acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde, Ambrosio, an acting captain in the Gambino family, allegedly operated a “lucrative loansharking operation” in which Anzalone and others participated. Anzalone and Saladino talked about the scheme in conversations that the federal government intercepted; they reportedly discussed “gambling debts” owed by some individuals. Speaking about one debtor, Saladino offered to “fix” him, saying “by the time we’re done … he’s not going to have an office to play anywhere.”
Suffolk County police also worked on the investigation into the mob’s illegitimate casino, illegal loan shark operation and distribution cocaine and marijuana. Investigators used wiretapped phone conversations to make their case.
The gambling operations included illegal poker games, electronic gaming machines and internet sports betting run by Damelio, Durso, Salerno and Saladino. Ambrosio was recorded allegedly saying “you can play right here” and “save gas money” by not going to the casino.
Anzalone, Damelio, Durso, Saladino and Salerno were also accused of trafficking in wholesale quantities of cocaine, marijuana and Xanax.
Most of the suspects face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, except Saladino and Salerno, who face up to life in prison for the cocaine conspiracy offenses.
This article also appeared on the Long Island Press.