By David Brand
A Queens man from the Bonanno organized crime family was the latest gangster to go down in federal court Thursday after a judge sentenced him to five years in prison on a slew of racketeering-related charges.
Frank “Frankie Boy” Salerno was the last of seven defendants to be sentenced by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein after they were convicted of various loan-sharking, extortion and gambling offenses.
Feuerstein previously sentenced John “Johnny Boy” Ambrosio of Huntington, NY, an acting captain in the Gambino family, to more than four years in prison and Anthony Saladino of Queens, an associate of the Gambino family, to more than years behind bars on Dec. 6.
“Organized crime continues to plague our communities with violence, coercion, and intimidation,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William 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.”
Sweeney was referring to a symbol that the mobsters wore to demonstrate the allegiance to the family.
From January 2014 to December 2017, the seven defendants ran a racketeering conspiracy that included collecting payments from extortionate loans and gambling-related debts, according to court documents.
Saladino and co-defendant Thomas Anzalone of Queens were overheard discussing unpaid gambling debts and threatening to give the debtor “something to be scared about.” Saladino told an undercover agent that he and Salerno were involved in organized crime.
In an intercepted call, Saladino told Ambrosio that he had threatened an individual, saying “when I get my hands around your your f-----g neck, everything is going to pop out of your ears.”
The defendants also ran gambling operations, which included illegal poker games, electronic betting machines and internet sports betting.
The other four defendants include Alessandro Damelio of Queens, Joseph Durso of Glen Cove, NY and Anthony Rodolico of Huntington, NY.
Investigators recovered several drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and Xanax, from the defendants. Police executed search warrants at various locations, including a storage facility in Nassau County, and recovered gambling and loan sharking records, electronic gaming machines, drugs and various firearms, including two AR-15 rifles, a .38 caliber revolver and a sawed-off shotgun, according to court documents.
“These individuals were caught up in an elaborate racketeering conspiracy; acting as loan sharks, operating underground gambling rings and trafficking narcotics,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel Melendez. “Today’s sentencing should serve as notice to those pursue this criminal lifestyle, that law enforcement is diligently investigating these cases and you will be caught and serve time for your actions.”