Colombo Organized Crime Family Acting Boss and Soldier Convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy

Earlier today, following a seven-week trial in federal court in Brooklyn, Thomas Gioeli, the former acting boss of the Colombo organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Colombo family”), and Colombo family soldier Dino Saracino were found guilty of racketeering conspiracy. As part of the conspiracy, the jury found that Gioeli had participated in three murder conspiracies as predicate acts of racketeering and that Saracino had engaged in five racketeering acts, including two murder conspiracies, conspiring to make and making an extortionate extension of credit, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Saracino was also found guilty of four additional counts, including charges of conspiring to make an extortionate extension of credit, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. The jury found the defendants not guilty of the murders in-aid-of racketeering related to the murder of Richard Greaves, the murder of New York City Police Officer Ralph Dols, and the murder of William Cutolo and found the related racketeering acts, among others, not proven.

The verdict was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the New York City Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Nassau County Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and trial.

The evidence at trial established the defendants’ involvement in a racketeering conspiracy that spanned from 1991 through 2008. The predicate acts found proven by the jury as to Gioeli included a conspiracy that culminated in the June 12, 1991 murder of Frank Marasa, who was shot multiple times outside his home in Brooklyn in retaliation for his perceived involvement in the killing of a Colombo family associate. In addition, the jury found that Gioeli participated in a conspiracy that resulted in the March 25, 1992 murder of John Minerva, who was killed as part of the bloody Colombo family war, which pitted two factions of the Colombo family—the Persico faction and the Orena faction—against each other in a violent struggle for control of the family. Also in connection with the Colombo family war, the jury found that Gioeli and Saracino conspired to kill rival Orena faction members between 1991 and 1993. The jury additionally found that Saracino participated in a conspiracy to kill Michael Burnside, an individual Saracino believed had murdered his brother; conspiring to make and making an extortionate extension of credit; witness tampering; and obstruction of justice.

At sentencing, defendant Thomas Gioeli faces a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years. Defendant Dino Saracino faces a term of imprisonment of up to 100 years.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Geddes, James Gatta, and Cristina M. Posa.