A Howard Beach mobster on Wednesday, March 2, was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to 10 years behind bars for torching a businessman’s car over late extortion payments in 2015.
Peter Tuccio, 29, an associate in the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall and ordered to pay more than $75,000 in restitution.
Tuccio pleaded guilty in January 2021 to using fire to commit one or more felonies.
“Today, Tuccio pays a steep price for the dangerous actions he took to extort payments to the mob,” U.S. Attorney Breon Price said. “No residents or businesses should have to operate under the threat of violence or intimidation from organized crime. Let Tuccio serve as an example that this behavior won’t be tolerated.”
As alleged in court filings, in 2015, a businessman who had been extorted for years by a captain in the Gambino crime family began to avoid the mobster in an effort to stop making his annual extortionate payment. On Dec. 3, 2015, Tuccio and his co-conspirators saw the businessman leaving a smoke shop in Howard Beach.
Federal agents said the three suspects followed the businessman’s car, a 2014 Mercedes Benz, at a high rate of speed, then confronted him later outside a neighborhood pizzeria. Tuccio allegedly asked the businessman about the Gambino captain, then made a comment about the Mercedes Benz.
Later that night, according to the indictment, the businessman heard a loud noise and then noticed that his car was on fire. This prompted the businessman to pay off the Gambino captain.
“The primary mission of the NYPD and our law enforcement partners is to arrest, prosecute and send away with meaningful prison sentences those who instill fear in New Yorkers through their criminal actions,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “With today’s sentence, the result of our efforts is tangible. I thank our colleagues at the FBI and the Eastern District of New York for their dedication in helping us hold accountable anyone who commits violence in order to spread fear, especially when it’s in the form of organized crime.”