LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that EDWARD GARAFOLA, a Soldier in the Gambino Organized Crime Family, was
sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment late yesterday on murder,
murder conspiracy, and extortion charges. The sentence was
imposed by United States District Judge JOHN G. KOELTL in
Manhattan federal court.
GARAFOLA pleaded guilty on October 21,
2004, to committing these crimes while participating in the
conduct of a racketeering enterprise, specifically the Gambino
Organized Crime Family. According to the Indictment, the
evidence at the trial of GARAFOLA’s co-defendants — including
Gambino Organized Crime Family Boss PETER GOTTI and Soldier
THOMAS CARBONARO — and statements made during GARAFOLA’s guilty
GARAFOLA has been a “made” member, or Soldier, of the
Gambino Organized Crime Family since the 1970s. In August 1990,
he participated with other Gambino Organized Crime Family members
in the murder of EDWARD GAROFALO – GARAFOLA’s own cousin.
GARAFOLA and his co-conspirators agreed to kill GAROFALO because
they suspected that he was cooperating with law enforcement.
GARAFOLA’s role in the murder plot included meeting with other
Gambino Organized Crime Family members to plan the murder,
agreeing to make a phone call to GAROFALO to draw him out of his
home, and meeting with the appointed shooters before and the day
after the killing. On the evening of August 8, 1990, GAROFALO
was shot dead as he exited his home in Brooklyn, New York.
GARAFOLA also participated in a conspiracy in 1999 and
2000 to murder former Gambino Organized Crime Family Underboss
SALVATORE “Sammy the Bull” GRAVANO.
GRAVANO was a powerful member of the Gambino Family under then-Boss JOHN J. GOTTI, until 1991, when GRAVANO began to cooperate with the Government.
GRAVANO eventually testified against GOTTI in the 1992 trial in
Brooklyn federal court that resulted in GOTTI’s conviction and
imprisonment until his death in 2002, as well as the conviction
of numerous other Gambino Organized Crime Family members. In
1999, an article appeared in a Phoenix-area newspaper in which
GRAVANO openly taunted the Gambino Family.
In response, PETER GOTTI put GARAFOLA and CARBONARO in charge of finding and killing GRAVANO, who was then participating in the United States
Marshals’ Witness Security Program. Shortly thereafter,
CARBONARO and Family Associate SALVATORE MANGIAVILLANO began
plotting to murder GRAVANO. In connection with the plot,
CARBONARO and MANGIAVILLANO disguised their identities, obtained
high-powered firearms, and identified locations in the Phoenix
area where GRAVANO might be found. GARAFOLA discussed with
CARBONARO the possibility of building a remote-controlled bomb to
use to kill GRAVANO. The plot to kill GRAVANO was never
successfully completed, in part because GRAVANO was arrested and
imprisoned on drug charges.
Even after GRAVANO’s imprisonment, GARAFOLA discussed with other Gambino Organized Crime Family
members the possibility of having him killed in prison.
GARAFOLA also participated in the Gambino Organized
Crime Family’s wide-ranging extortion of the construction
industry. From the early 1990s until at least 2002, GARAFOLA was
a powerful member of the “Construction Panel,” a Gambino
Organized Crime Family committee that oversaw the extortion of
various construction companies operating in the New York City
area. During that time, GARAFOLA and other members of the
Construction Panel used fear, threats, and intimidation to extort
millions of dollars from various New York City contractors.
Mr. GARCIA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation in this case.
Assistant United States Attorney ELIE HONIG is in
charge of the prosecution.