Mineola cop part of Mafia gambling game in Lynbrook: DOJ

Mineola cop part of Mafia gambling game in Lynbrook: DOJ
According to the Department of Justice, Hector Rosario, a detective with the Nassau County Police Department, allegedly accepted payment in exchange for helping to organize police raids on competing gambling sites. (Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons)

Hector Rosario, a Nassau County Police Department detective, allegedly accepted money for agreeing to coordinate police raids on rival gambling establishments in an illegal Mafia operation centered in Lynbrook, according to the Department of Justice.

Rosario, 49, of Mineola, has been accused of hindering a grand jury investigation and lying to the FBI, authorities said.

He and eight other defendants were charged with racketeering, illegal gambling, money laundering conspiracy, obstruction of justice and other crimes in two indictments that were unsealed earlier Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

The charges were announced by Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Michael Driscoll, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office; Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly.

Peace said the arrests show the Mafia is still leveraging the financial system to further its illicit enterprises. He said they pollute communities with illegal gambling, extortion and violence.

“The defendants tried to hide their criminal activity by operating from behind the cover of a coffee bar, a soccer club and a shoe repair shop,” he said. “But our office and our law enforcement partners exposed their illegal operations.”

Even more troubling, he said, was the detective’s alleged dishonorable behavior. He said it compromised both his oath of office and officers by his allegedly siding with criminals.

Donnelly said this case is more evidence that organized crime is still alive.

“These Mafia figures were assisted by a sworn member of law enforcement, who helped these gambling dens to thrive by offering police raids on competing clubs,” she said. “The Mafia has brought untold violence and extortion into our neighborhoods for decades, even threatening the life of an individual as part of this case.”

She said this indictment sends a message of the authorities’ commitment to rooting out corruption and organized crime.

Members of the Genovese and Bonanno organized crime organizations allegedly ran several illegal gambling operations. The authorities said the two families controlled the “lucrative” Gran Caffe illegal gambling enterprise in Lynbrook, starting at least as far back as May 2012.

The Genovese crime family is also accused of running illegal gambling dens at Sal’s Shoe Repair and the Centro Calcio Italiano Club, alongside the Gran Caffe. The Bonanno criminal family allegedly ran illicit gambling parlors at the Soccer Club, La Nazionale Soccer Club and Glendale Sports Club, according to prosecutors.

They allegedly laundered money through cash transfers to the defendants and through “kicking up” to the bosses of the gangs using the revenues made, the indictments said.

Joseph Macario, Carmelo Polito, Salvatore Rubino, Joseph Rutigliano, Mark Feuer, Agostino Gabriele, Anthony Pipitone, and Vito Pipitone are the other defendants in addition to Rosario, the Justice Department said. All of them, excluding Rutigliano, have been arrested.

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