NEWARK, NJ—Three New Jersey men pleaded guilty today to charges stemming from an illegal poker club in Kenilworth, N.J., allegedly operated by an associate of the Genovese organized crime family, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch announced.
Anthony Alfano, 77, of Union, N.J.; Tonino Colantonio, 32, of Kenilworth; and Guiseppe Pugliese, 33, also of Kenilworth, each entered their guilty pleas to one count each of illegal gambling and illegal gambling conspiracy—counts 52 and 53 of a superseding indictment—before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh in Newark federal court.
The defendants were charged with the gambling offenses in January 2011 in the superseding indictment which also charges 12 other New Jersey residents, including an alleged member and associates of the Genovese organized crime family, variously with racketeering and related offenses.
The defendants admitted that they participated in the management of an illegal poker club formerly located on North 20th Street in Kenilworth, including serving as card dealers for the club. They also admitted that they had telephone conversations during that time period with Richard Dehmer, 75, of Springfield, N.J., as part of their involvement in the operation of the illegal poker club in late 2009 and January 2010. Dehmer, an associate of the Genovese organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra, is charged in the superseding indictment with racketeering conspiracy, including bookmaking, extortionate collection of credit, and illegal gambling.
At sentencing, Alfano, Colantonio, and Pugliese each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the pecuniary gain or loss from the offenses. Sentencing for the three defendants is currently scheduled for February 6, 2012.
U.S. Attorneys Fishman and Lynch credit the FBI in New Jersey and New York, under the direction of Special Agents in Charge Michael B. Ward and Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk, respectively; and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Panella, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacquelyn M. Rasulo and Jack Dennehy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Mahajan, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey.
As for Dehmer and the other defendants charged in the superseding indictment, the charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Anthony Alfano: Joshua P. Cohn Esq., Saddlebrook, N.J.
Tonino Colantonio: Timothy M. Donohue Esq., West Orange, N.J.
Guiseppe Pugliese: Vincent C. Scocca Esq., Bloomfield, N.J.