By Gina Martinez
An associate of the Genovese crime family was convicted of racketeering and murder conspiracy for an attempted hit on a Whitestone man, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said.
Salvatore Delligatti, 40, was found guilty in Manhattan federal court last week on all counts of racketeering conspiracy, murder-for-hire conspiracy, participation in an illegal gambling operation, and a firearms offense following a three-week jury trial. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison in August.
Delligatti committed all his crimes in order to increase his standing in the Genovese family, according to Berman.
“Delligatti recruited a group of hitmen to murder an individual,” he said. “But Delligatti’s hitmen were caught red-handed by the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office before they could carry out their hit. Delligatti now stands convicted of this foiled murder plot and other crimes he committed with the Genovese family.”
According to the indictment, from around 2008 through May 2016, Delligatti was an associate of the Genovese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra. During this time, Delligatti conspired with others to participate in and conduct the affairs of the Genovese family through a pattern of racketeering that included a murder conspiracy, an extortion conspiracy, and the operation of an illegal sports betting business, prosecutors said.
As part of Delligatti’s participation in the Genovese family, around May 2014 through June 2014 he conspired with Robert DeBello, a “made” soldier, and Ryan Ellis, a Genovese family associate, to murder Whitestone “tough guy” Joseph Bonelli, according to the prosecutors.
Delligatti asked for and received permission from DeBello to murder Bonelli, according to the indictment. Instead of carrying out the murder himself, as he had been authorized to do, Delligatti instead hired a crew of hitmen from the Bronx to ambush and kill Bonelli at his house, prosecutors said.
Delligatti provided the hitmen with a loaded .38 revolver, a getaway car, and offered to pay them thousands of dollars for the murder, prosecutors said. Delligatti’s plot was thwarted as a result of wiretap surveillance by the Nassau police and the Nassau DA’s office, prosecutors said.
The hired hitmen were apprehended in the getaway car a few blocks from Bonelli’s house on June 8, 2014, according to the indictment. Prosecutors said police recovered the loaded revolver, a spray bottle containing bleach and other materials in the car.
Prosecutors added that from April 2014 through May 2014, Delligatti and others in the Genovese family, including DeBello and Ellis, took part in a conspiracy to use threats of violence and economic harm to extort the owners and promoters of a night club located on the rooftop of a hotel in Queens.
From about 2013 through 2015, Delligatti, DeBello and Ellis were involved in a large-scale bookmaking and sports betting operation that took bets from gamblers in Manhattan and Queens, while making use of an offshore wire room, according to prosecutors.
During the gambling operation, Delligatti and Ellis brought envelopes filled with cash to DeBello. Delligatti’s co-defendants, DeBello and Ellis, previously pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy offenses for their roles in the murder conspiracy, the extortion conspiracy, and the illegal gambling operation, prosecutors said.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart