WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Seven Westchester residents were indicted on federal charges in what prosecutors are calling a mob-operated waste carting enterprise.
The 32-person indictment is part of a four-year investigation involving several police agencies in New York City, Westchester County and New Jersey, law enforcement officials said.
Those indicted were part of an organized crime waste-carting enterprise designed to extort money from customers, U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara said.
"Here, as described in the indictments, organized crime insinuated itself into the waste disposal industry throughout a vast swath of counties in New York and New Jersey, and the tactics they used to exert and maintain their control come right out of the mafia playbook – extortion, intimidation, and threats of violence," he said.
Twelve of those indicted are members and associates of three crime families of La Cosa Nostra: the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese crime families, according to the district attorney's office.
Westchester residents indicted include Joseph Sarcinella, 78, of Scarsdale, charged with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy; Pasquale Carbone, Sr., 70, of White Plains, charged with mail and wire fraud conspiracy; Robert Franco, 50, of Hartsdale, charged with interstate transportation of stolen property; Mario Velez, 44, of Peekskill, charged with extortion conspiracy; Pasquale P. Cartalemi, Jr., 50, of Cortlandt Manor, charged with extortion conspiracy and extortion; Pasquale L. Cartalemi, 27, of Cortlandt Manor, charged with extortion conspiracy and extortion; and Andrew McGuire, 29, of Hawthorne charged with extortion conspiracy.
The Westchester residents indicted face a possible five to 40 years in prison, law enforcement officials said.
Initially, the waste disposal enterprise avoided detection by obtaining permits through individuals without known crime family associations, the district attorney's office said. In some cases, those alleged to be controlling the operation were officially banned from operating waste carting enterprises, officials said.
Those indicted would control the waste carting enterprise by dictating routes, extorting payments in exchange for protection and asserting and enforcing "property rights" over trash pickup routes, the district attorney said. The enterprise would thereby exclude competitors, officials said.
Some of the "controlled owners," or non-enterprise members operating the waste pickup, were committing crimes, including stealing property of competing waste disposal businesses and defrauding customers of their customers, according to the district attorney's office.