- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2012

Five men identified as leaders or associates of the New England organized crime family have agreed to plead guilty to racketeering-related charges, according to documents filed Thursday in federal court in Providence, R.I.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, who heads the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said the men were charged in a second superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Providence in September 2011, which alleges their participation in an extortion and racketeering conspiracy involving “protection” payments from several Rhode Island businesses. Each faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

According to plea agreements filed with the court, Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio; Edward “Eddy” Lato; Alfred “Chippy” Scivola; and Richard Bonafiglia will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. Raymond R. Jenkins will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to participate in a Hobbs Act extortion.

In addition to admitting to their criminal conduct, Manocchio, Lato and Scivola admitted their membership in the New England crime syndicate, according to the plea agreements. In addition, Manocchio and Lato admitted to being organizers and leaders of the enterprise’s criminal activity.

Federal law enforcement authorities have identified Manocchio as an underboss and boss of the New England family, and Lato as a capo, or a high ranking member of the family who heads a crew of “soldiers” and has major social status and influence in the organization. Lato also admitted in his plea agreement to related extortion activity charged in the indictment.

Two others, Theodore Cardillo and Albino “Albie” Folcarelli, also are named in the second superseding indictment and identified as alleged crime family associates. They are scheduled for trial on April 23.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland in Rhode Island and Trial Attorney Sam Nazzaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. The matter was investigated by the FBI, Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police and criminal investigators from the Internal Revenue Service.

• Jerry Seper can be reached at jseper@washingtontimes.com.

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