Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Moose Lodge is For Mobsters

"2 accused mobsters plead guilty to extortion" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  December 15, 2015

They are both in their 70s. One walks with a limp, while the other needed a court-issued hearing aid to follow the proceedings. Neither quite managed to demonstrate the physical force that marked their heyday as reputed soldiers in the New England Mafia.

But prosecutors said that Antonio L. “Spucky” Spagnolo and Pryce Quintana, alleged “made men” in the Mafia, still were to be feared.

On Monday, Spagnolo, 73 — the reputed acting boss of the New England Mafia — and Quintana, 75, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to affect commerce by extortion for threatening the owner of the Revere Moose Lodge and another businessman.

Threatening him how?

According to prosecutors, a local video poker machine company, Constitution Vending Co., had been setting up illegal poker machines in local bars and restaurants and splitting the profits with the bar owners for more than a decade. In that time, the company had been paying Quintana and Spagnolo protection payments known as rent payments, in exchange for their help in preventing other businesses from setting up their own machines in the area.

When the Revere Moose Lodge considered installing poker machines operated by another company, Spagnolo and Quintana intervened and allegedly threatened those involved.

Assistant US Attorney Timothy Moran said during a hearing Monday that the two men made “implied” threats. When pressed by US District Judge Patti B. Saris to describe what threat the aging men could present, Moran said that they implied the threat of economic harm – rather than physical harm.

When state authority or governments do it, of course, it's okay.

Under questioning from Saris, the two men acknowledged their intent.

Quintana said that their threat was to “interfere with them putting the machines in.” He did not say how he would interfere.

“The implied threat was that they couldn’t put their machines in there,” Spagnolo said, denying any physical threat.

The scene was a stark contrast from their days representing the old guard of the Patriarca crime family, when Gennaro Angiulo was in charge of the Mafia’s Boston operations from the 1960s to the early 1980s. Spagnolo was a reputed drug dealer, then a capo in the family. Quintina had a lower rank, but his uncle Charles “Q-Ball” Quintina was also a capo.

Wasn't that the same time the FBI was cooperating with Whitey Bulger?

Both men were allegedly at the infamous October 1989 Mafia induction meeting in Medford that was secretly recorded by the FBI. In the years since, the New England Mafia’s power and organizational structure had deteriorated, becoming a skeleton of what it once was, with law enforcement repeatedly targeting those who assume leadership positions.

Yes, there is a new mob in town.

Former boss Anthony L. DiNunzio was sentenced in 2012 to 78 months in federal prison for racketeering. He is the brother of Carmen “The Big Cheese” DiNunzio, who served a state sentence for bribery.

And Luigi Manocchio, Anthony DiNunzio’s 88-year-old predecessor, was released from federal prison last month after serving five years for extorting protection payments from strip clubs.

Spagnolo served a nine-year prison sentence in the 1990s for racketeering and drug dealing. Quintana served more than seven years for racketeering.

Both men have denied any association with the Mafia....