At approximately 6 am on April 25, 2012, the FBI and Rhode Island State Police arrested Anthony DiNunzio, acting boss of the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), in Boston’s North End at the Gemini Social Club on Endicott Street. DiNunzio, 53, of East Boston and part of the Patriarca crime family, was taken to a Providence, Rhode Island court to face charges of racketeering and extortion, where he pleaded “not guilty.” He is being held without bail until a May 3, 2012 hearing. His lawyer, Robert Sheketoff, asked the judge to ensure DiNunzio receives insulin for his diabetes condition.
Today’s indictment is the first time that the FBI has publicly identified Anthony DiNunzio as being the boss of the New England mafia since late 2009. The indictment says that a Capo of the NELCN, Eddie Lato, would regularly deliver payments to DiNunzio, including $5,000 seized by the FBI last year in the North End.
The Feds identified organized crime activity last September at the Gemini club, located on the corner of Endicott and Thacher Streets. At the time, authorities indicated that the New England La Cosa Nostra leadership has shifted from Providence to Boston. (See North End Address at Endicott & Thacher Streets Named in Rhode Island Mafia Indictment.)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island is accusing DiNunzio of receiving monthly protection payments from strip clubs in and around Providence (Cadillac Lounge, Satin Doll, Foxy Lady and Desire). This is the latest in a case where federal prosecutors have made several indictments and plea agreements, including from former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio. In total, nine have been indicted and six convicted.
The indictment also reveals wire taps taped DiNunzio at the North End’s Billy Tse’s Restaurant on Commercial Street, meeting with a senior Gambino crime family member.
Anthony DiNunzio is the brother of Carmen “The Cheese Man” DiNunzio, currently serving time in prison. Carmen DiNunzio’s “Fresh Cheese” was also located on Endicott Street and closed in 2009 (See Fresh Cheese To Close on Endicott Street) before moving to Fleet St. (See “The Cheeseman” and “The Cheese Shop”) and recently changing ownership (See Inside the New “Cheese Shop” on Fleet Street).