SCITUATE, R.I. (AP) — State police in Rhode Island arrested two dozen suspected mobsters and their associates Friday following a wiretap investigation into what authorities say was an illegal sports-betting ring.
State police on Friday say the people arrested include three reputed members of the Patriarca crime family, including Frank “Bobo” Marrapese, Jr., Edward Lato and Alfred “Chippy” Scivola.
They’re all charged with racketeering, and Marrapese and Scivola are also charged with extortion conspiracy.
“What today proves is that organized crime and corruption in the state of Rhode Island never sleeps,” Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin said at a news conference following the arrests. “Thankfully today we have brought to a conclusion an investigative phase into organized crime in Rhode Island.”
Police say Vincent Tallo, 49, of Johnston ran the ring, which took illegal bets on professional and college sports. He’s charged with racketeering, criminal gambling, bookmaking, drug and other charges.
The investigation began in fall 2010 and ultimately included wiretaps on cell phones owned by Tallo and Marrapese, according to police, who say information from the Marrapese wiretap led to evidence of extortion and other criminal acts.
Police say the wiretaps showed evidence that nearly $400,000 in illegal bets were placed over the course of the investigation. Marrapese was convicted in 1987 of killing a fellow mobster and is on parole after being released three years ago.
“Three of the top-ranking officials from the Patriarca organized crime family were arrested today. I think we made a big dent,” Capt. James O. Demers of the state police said.
The arrests come only months after reputed former Patriarca boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio was arrested in a nationwide sweep in January on charges he extorted protection payments from Rhode Island strip clubs.
Friday’s arrests were not related to the charges in that case, Demers said.
Scivola was arrested Friday morning in Las Vegas, where police say he was on vacation. The rest of the suspects were arrested in Rhode Island.
The people arrested were to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)