BROOKLYN, NY — Benito DiZenzo, 53, of New Rochelle, New York was charged Thursday, along with another 11 alleged mobsters, with various crimes including Racketeering Conspiracy, Loansharking, Obstruction of Justice and Bribery.
Two indictments and one complaint were unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn.
DiZenzo was released on $500,000 bond.
DiZenzo, an alleged Gambino family associate, is known to Talk of the Sound readers for his association with Vincent “Scumbag Vinnie” Mirabile and the notorious Cousins Cigar store in New Rochelle.
In 2017, DiZenzo made threatening comments to this reporter after accurately describing Cousins as a hangout for “gangsters and wannabes”. Soon after a person believed to be DiZenzo came onto Cox’s property in the middle of the night on May 26-27, 2017, and used what appears to have been a blow torch to melt a hole in the side of a tire on a vehicle owned by Cox’s wife. Police sources told Talk of the Sound DiZenzo was arrested previously for a similar act but the case was sealed. A stick jammed into the hole later caused the tire to blow out out while Cox’s wife was driving their daughter to a playdate.
Cousins has been for years home to a known after-hours gambling operation, illegal “fundraising” events, operating as a restaurant and serving alcohol without a license and more but is believed to be a protected operation. Mirabile is a retired New Rochelle Police Detective. He is related through marriage to New Rochelle Council Member Louis Trangucci. He has a close connection to New Rochelle PBA President Christopher Greco. His most ardent defenders include VFW Commander Peter Parente who is Trangucci’s brother-in-law.
Those charged with racketeering conspiracy were Andrew Campos, an alleged captain in the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra; James Ciaccia, George Campos, Vincent Fiore and Richard Martino, alleged Gambino family soldiers; and Renato Barca, Jr., Mark Kocaj, Frank Tarul, Michael Tarul, as well as Benito DiZenzo, all five alleged Gambino family associates.
Andrew Campos, Fiore, Kocaj and DiZenzo operated a carpentry company, CWC Contracting Corp. , and are charged with paying bribes and kickbacks to employees of numerous construction companies and real estate developers. DiZenzo acted as a Superintendent on CWC projects in Yonkers and White Plains according to the indictment.
CWC paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to multiple employees of HFZ Capital Group, a real estate development company, including John Simonlacaj, the company’s current Managing Director of Development.
“The outstanding investigative work by this Office’s prosecutors and our law enforcement partners uncovered a litany of crimes allegedly committed by members and associates of the Gambino organized crime family, who still don’t get it – handcuffs and a jail cell are waiting for criminals who threaten violence and commit fraud, money laundering and bribery in furtherance of their enterprise,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.
“The Gambino members arrested in this case ran the gamut of criminal activity. Everything from the usual thuggish behavior of beating people up, forcing people to take the fall for their crimes, all the way to defrauding the federal government,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
La Cosa Nostra is operated through organized crime families. Five of these crime families – the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Luchese crime families – are headquartered in New York City and supervised criminal activity in New York, in other areas ofthe United States and, in some instances, in other countries. Another crime family, the Decavalcante crime family, operated principally in New Jersey, but from time to time also in New York City.
Benito DiZenzo is alleged in the indictment to be an Associate in the Gambino Crime Family.
Associates are individuals who are not members of the crime family, but who nonetheless engaged in criminal activity for, and under the protection of, the crime family. Many requirements exist before an associate can become a member of the Gambino crime family. The Commission of La Cosa Nostra from time to time limited the number of new members who could be added to a crime family. An associate was also required to be proposed for membership by an existing crime family member.
When the crime family’s administration considered the associate worthy of membership, the administration then circulated the proposed associate’s name on a list given to other La Cosa Nostra crime families, which the other crime families reviewed and either approved or disapproved. Unless there was an objection to the associate’s membership, the crime family then “inducted,” or “straightened out,” the associate as a member of the crime family in a secret ceremony. During the ceremony, the associate, among other things, swore allegiance for life to the crime family above all else, even the associate’s own family; swore, on penalty of death, never to reveal the crime family’s existence, criminal activities and other secrets; and swore to follow all orders issued by the crime family boss, including swearing to commit murder if the boss directed it.