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Office of the Attorney General
David Samson, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
Peter C. Harvey, Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT:
John R. Hagerty, Division of Criminal Justice
(609) 984-1936
David Greenfield, Waterfront Commission
(212) 742-9280

March 7, 2002

DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE & WATERFRONT COMMISSION
OF NEW YORK HARBOR
TARGET MOB-RUN SHAKE-DOWN ON NEW JERSEY DOCKS

Reputed Waterfront Faction Of Genovese Crime Family & Dock Worker’s Union
Demand $$$ For Work - Seven Arrested In Early Morning Roundup -


Port Newark - First Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Division of Criminal Justice Peter C. Harvey and Thomas DeMaria, Executive Director of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, today announced the arrest of seven individuals identified as either reputed associates of the New York-based Genovese organized crime family and/or current and former officials of the International Longshoreman's Association (ILA) Local #1588 on charges related to a "money for work" shake-down of dock workers at various New Jersey waterfront shipping terminals.


Criminal Justice Director Peter C. Harvey and Waterfront Commission Executive Director Thomas DeMaria announce the arrest of seven individuals on charges related to a "money for work" shake-down of dock-workers.
Pictured are (l-r): Philip C. Spinelli, Peter C. Harvey, Thomas Demaria, Vaughn McKoy, Michael McGaughran, Victoria Vreeland, Christopher Romanyshyn.

According to Criminal Justice Director Harvey and Commission Executive Director DeMaria, today’s early morning arrests signal the opening salvo of a sweeping investigation targeting union/labor corruption and organized crime influence on the New Jersey waterfront. The investigation is focusing on allegations that current and former union representatives and Genovese crime family associates demanded money from the ILA membership in return for prime job assignments, training for higher paying jobs and overtime assignments.

"In contrast to a series of New York Sun newspaper articles published in 1949, the Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor have employed vigilance and intensive investigative measures since 1953 to make the New Jersey waterfront a place where workers can earn an honest living and where so-called gangsters can earn a trip to jail," Director Harvey said.

"Today, the Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor have uncovered evidence that corruption, organized crime influence and other illegal activity has attempted to control the way business is done at Hudson River shipping terminals. Our actions demonstrate very clearly that we intend to end these practices and to return fair employment opportunities and dignity to dockworkers," Harvey added.

"These arrests mark the latest and continuing effort of the Waterfront Commission to rid the waterfront in the Port of New York/New Jersey from the influence of criminality and economic terrorism," Director DeMaria said. "Ever since the Waterfront Commission's inception in 1953, our staff has screened, registered and licensed the dock labor force in the Port. The Commission has spearheaded and actively participated with various state, federal and local law enforcement authorities in a multitude of successful investigations which have led to criminal prosecutions and administrative action against waterfront-related crime figures. As a result, the fate of the honest dock worker and the vitality and security of the Port has vastly improved since the 'bad old' days and will continue to improve as a result of today's events."

Joining Director Harvey and Director DeMaria in announcing the arrests were James Vanderberg, Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge, New Jersey Field Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Philip C. Spinelli, Chief of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor Police Department, David Greenfield, Secretary and Director of Litigation and Larry Lezak, Director of Law, Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor and Anne M. Kriegner, Chief State Investigator, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.


According to the law enforcement officials, state investigators assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice Organized Crime North Unit and Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor detectives and police officers conducted early morning raids, arresting the seven targeted individuals at their residences and other previously identified locations. The arrests took place without any significant incident. Each defendant has been charged with racketeering, extortion, bribery and conspiracy. The defendants are identified as:

- Nicholas Furina, 70, 2 Springdale Lane, Warren, NJ. Identified as a reputed associate of the Genovese organized crime family waterfront faction and employed as the Hiring Agent for P&O Ports of North America, Inc. in Jersey City. The investigation has identified Furina as the reputed "boss" of the criminal enterprise. Furina has been additionally charged as a Leader of Organized Crime;

- Ralph Esposito, 49, 110 Priscilla Drive, Lincroft, NJ. Reputed associate of the Genovese organized crime family waterfront faction and employed as the Union Shop Steward for ILA Local #1588 at Global Terminal located in Port Jersey, Jersey City;

- Anthony D'Errico, 62, 584 Madison Drive, Monroe Township, NJ. Reputed associate of the Genovese organized crime family waterfront faction and employed as Field Boss of the ILA Local #1588 at Global Terminal;

- Aniello 'Sonny' Bello, 66, 74 West 7th Street, Bayonne, NJ. Reputed associate of the Genovese organized crime family waterfront faction and employed as Hiring Agent at Global Terminal;

- John Timpanaro, 45, 108 Marvin Road, Middletown, NJ. Reputed associate of the Genovese organized crime family waterfront faction and employed as President of ILA Local #1588;;

- Carlo Bilancione, 67, 15 Huber Court, Hightstown, NJ. Reputed associate of the Genovese organized crime family waterfront faction and a former Field Boss of ILA Local #1588 at Global Terminal. The Waterfront Commission had previously revoked Bilancione's employment registration;

- Nicholas Romano,47, 18 Old Farm Road, Warren, NJ. Reputed associate of the Genovese organized crime family waterfront faction and a former Shop Steward of the ILA Local #1588 at Global Terminal. The Waterfront Commission had previously revoked Romano's employment registration and removed him from his union-related position.

The defendants are scheduled for a first appearance and bail hearing later today before Hudson County Superior Court Judge Kevin G. Callahan.

 

Criminal Justice Director Peter C. Harvey and Waterfront Commission Executive Director Thomas DeMaria announce the arrest of seven individuals on charges related to a "money for work" shake-down of dock-workers.
Pictured are (l-r): Philip C. Spinelli, Peter C. Harvey, Thomas Demaria, Vaughn McKoy, Michael McGaughran, Victoria Vreeland, Christopher Romanyshyn.



Director DeMaria noted that the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor initiated the investigation and the Division of Criminal Justice joined the probe in October, 2000. Over the past 18 months, the investigation utilized undercover investigative techniques, video surveillance and other sophisticated investigative procedures as state investigators worked to uncover the various illegal schemes and activities.

As the investigation progressed, Furina was identified as the "boss" of the alleged criminal enterprise. Through extortion and the withholding of premium job assignments, it is alleged that Furina and the other defendants demanded kickbacks and cash payments from dozens of Local #1588 members. Workers seeking better paying positions or job-related benefits who did not submit to the extortion demands were denied the better paying opportunities or advanced training.

Director Harvey said that the arrests of the defendants represent a new phase in the investigative strategy and that, in the interests of investigative security and pursuant to established court requirements, the Division of Criminal Justice and Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor are limited in discussing specific details regarding the alleged conspiracy and ongoing investigation. The next phase of the process is to present the allegations and charges to the State Grand Jury for possible indictment.

Director's Harvey and DeMaria credited the work of the Division of Criminal Justice state investigators assigned to the Organized Crime North Unit, the Waterfront Commission detectives and police officers and the representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor for their work in pursuing the continuing and often complicated investigation.

Division of Criminal Justice Deputy Attorney General Christopher Romanyshyn was assigned to the investigation and appeared in Hudson County Superior Court on behalf of the Division of Criminal Justice.

Supervising State Investigator Victoria Vreeland and State Investigator Jennifer Tempel from the Division of Criminal Justice, along with Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor case detectives Stephen Cohen and William Hamalainen, coordinated the investigative efforts.

All persons charged with criminal complaints are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Copies of the arrest warrants, charge information and the press release are available via the Division of Criminal Justice Web Page at www.NJDCJ.org.

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Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor