Whitestone mobster gets five years in prison for running rackets throughout Long Island and Brooklyn: Prosecutors

By Emily Davenport

A Whitestone mobster who was charged last year for running loansharking, illegal gambling and drug dealing rings on Long Island and in Brooklyn for three years has been sentenced, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Frank “Frankie Boy” Salerno, 43, a known Bonanno crime family soldier, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy earlier this year. He was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison.

Salerno, along with acting captain of the Gambino crime family John “Johnny Boy” Ambrosio, 74 of Huntington, and Gambino family associate Anthony Saladino, 67, of Glen Cove, were the last of seven Gambino and Bonanno members and associates who were sentenced with racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of drug trafficking, loan sharking, gambling and obstruction of justice.

On Dec. 8, Ambrosio and Saladino were sentenced to 51 months and 68 months in prison, respectively, with Ambrosio forfeiting $100,000, including $66,116 in cash that was seized from his home.

“Organized crime continues to plague our communities with violence, coercion, and intimidation,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “The mobsters grow richer while their victims live in fear as they struggle to make payments while dealing with daily threats. Today’s sentences demonstrate that the shirt button of a ‘made man’ is no match for a badge – the FBI/NYPD Joint Organized Crime Task Force is committed to investigating and rooting out organized crime wherever it occurs, and the perpetrators will be brought to justice.”

According to court documents, Ambrosio and his co-defendants were engaged in racketeering conspiracy between January 2014 and December 2017. Salerno would routinely collect payments from extortionate loans and gambling-related debts, often at the direction of Ambrosio.

In an call that was intercepted by police, Saladino and co-defendant Thomas Anzalone, 44 of Ozone Park, discussed unpaid gambling debts, during which Saladino said he would give the debtor “something to be scared about,” prosecutors said.

On another occasion, Saladino admitted to an undercover agent that he and Salerno were involved in organized crime, saying that Salerno “has got that thing (pointing to his shirt button),” indicating membership in organized crime, according to prosecutors.

In another intercepted call, Saladino reportedly told Ambrosio about a collection effort in which he threatened an individual, saying “when I get my hands around your f—ing neck, everything is going to pop out of your ears,” prosecutors said.

The charges indicated that Salerno was involved in a variety of gambling operations led by Ambrosio, including illegal poker games, electronic gaming machines and internet sports betting, with Saladino, Alessandro “Sandro” Damelio, 49 of Whitestone, and Joseph Durso, 26, of Glen Cove, with Ambrosio being responsible for many of the day-to-day operations.

Anzalone, Damelio, Durso, Saladino and Salerno reportedly distributed a variety of narcotics, including cocaine, marijuana and Xanax, authorities said.

On Dec. 12, 2017, Ambrosio, Salerno and the rest of the defendants were arrested and police executed search warrants at various locations, including a storage facility in Nassau County. During the search, police recovered gambling and loan sharking records, electronic gaming machines, narcotics and drug paraphernalia and numerous firearms, including two AR-15 rifles, a .38 caliber revolver and a sawed-off shotgun.

Damelio was sentenced to two months in prison on July 11, 2018 and Anzalone was sentenced July 24, 2018 to 34 months’ imprisonment. Durso and another defendant, Anthony Rodolico, 46 of Huntington, were sentenced on Nov. 5, 2018, to two months and one year in prison, respectively.

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