PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The sweeping federal crackdown into organized crime in New England, which took down a former and reputed acting mob bosses, ended with a whimper Thursday.
Theodore Cardillo, 69, agreed to plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy for his role in the shakedown of area strip clubs for protection money to the mob.
Cardillo was the only defendant not to receive any prison time. U.S. District Court Judge William Smith agreed to the terms of the plea agreement Cardillo made with prosecutors and ordered him to five years of probation. The first six months of his sentence will be served on home confinement and he has to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
Both the judge and prosecutors described his role in the scheme as "minor."
As part of his conditions of release, prosecutor William Ferland asked that the judge order the defendant to stay away from five known criminals to "more or less ensure" he stays out of a life of crime.
Ferland identified those men as: Joseph Ruggiero, identified in court documents as a made member of the New England crime family, former mob boss Raymond "Junior" Patriarca, reputed capo regimes William "Blackjack" DelSanto and Joseph Achille, as well as Anthony Spagnolo of the North End of Boston.
The judge also ordered Cardillo to stay away from the eight other defendants who are all currently serving prison time in the case.
During the sentencing, Ferland told the judge former mob boss Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio forced the owners of the Cadillac Lounge to hire Cardillo when they opened in 1999.
The owners had "little room for disagreement" according to Ferland and Cardillo then assisted in getting the protection payments to Manocchio.
Ferland also said Cardillo urged the owners to hire Richard Bonafiglia as a bouncer – a co-defendant in this case with a lengthy criminal record – but the owners refused. Ferland said the mob boss then took action.
"Manocchio called the owner at home and told him to hire Bonafiglia," Ferland said.
Bonafiglia was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the shakedown scheme.
Thursday's sentencing marks a clean sweep for the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney's office that successfully prosecuted nine defendants in a widespread racketeering and extortion scheme. Court documents show the crime family netted between $800,000 and $1.5 million over several decades.
Cardillo was spared prison time but was warned by Judge Smith that if he slips up, he would be inclined to lock him up.
"Your role in this scheme does seem to be at the lesser end … of all the other individuals indicted in this conspiracy," Smith said. "I'm certainly hopeful that you will not go back into this business."
At the end of the hearing Ferland leaned over to Cardillo and offered some advice.
"Stay out of trouble," Ferland said. "We don't want to see you back here."
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