2013-07-04 / Front Page

Prosecutor: ‘Operation Shore Bet’ busts $1M/week gambling ring

Residents of Long Branch, West Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport and Ocean Township are among those charged in what authorities described as a $1 million-a-week organized gambling enterprise operating in and around Monmouth County.

“Operation Shore Bet” culminated on June 24 with the arrests of 22 suspects, the seizure of a dozen vehicles, more than $500,000 in cash, and the freezing of financial accounts allegedly used to facilitate the criminal activity, according to Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

The prosecutor’s office conducted the 18-month investigation in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury; Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office; Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office; and the Asbury Park, Deal, Freehold Township, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean, Red Bank and Wall police departments.

The Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Toms River and West Long Branch police departments were involved in executing nine search and arrest warrants from June 18-24 in Monmouth, Somerset, Essex and Hudson counties and Manhattan.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation uncovered a well-organized gambling enterprise extending from Monmouth County to Somerset, Essex and Hudson counties and New York City.

Members of the enterprise allegedly laundered the proceeds of their activity through various methods to avoid reporting requirements and to mask the ownership and source of the proceeds. Some members of the organization also allegedly engaged in the sale and distribution of marijuana and prescription drugs, including sales to an undercover detective from the prosecutor’s office, authorities said.

Anthony Gagliardi, 38, of Monmouth Beach, and Richard Crossan, 55, of Hillsborough, acted as co-conspirators in the alleged racketeering enterprise, focused on the promotion of gambling activity and money laundering, according to the prosecutor’s office. The enterprise used electronic resources, including websites, to track illegal wagering and to record profits and losses for a gambling operation grossing in excess of $1 million per week, the prosecutor said.

Members of the enterprise laundered their illicit proceeds using numerous financial institutions throughout Monmouth County and other methods to conceal the criminal activities, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The following local residents were charged with crimes including racketeering conspiracy, promoting gambling, possession of gambling records, and financial facilitation of criminal activity:

 Anthony Gagliardi, 38, of Monmouth Beach; bail set at $2 million cash only

 Anthony Carlesimo, 40, of Long Branch; also charged with distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance; bail set at $1 million with no 10 percent option  Louis Carlesimo Jr., 80, of Long Branch; released on his own recognizance

 Jean Pierre DaSilva, 31, of Oceanport; bail set at $500,000 with no 10 percent option

 Vincent Fragale Jr., 58, of Shrewsbury; bail set at $750,000 with no 10 percent option

 Jordan Huthwaite, 27, of Little Silver; bail set at $200,000 with no 10 percent option

 Patrick Martin, 48, of West Long Branch; bail set at $200,000 with no 10 percent option

 Solomon Saka, 39, of Long Branch; bail set at $200,000 with no 10 percent option

 Christopher Thomas, 40, of the Port Monmouth section of Middletown; bail set at $750,000 with no 10 percent option

 Patrick Yerves, 32, of Sea Bright; bail set at $200,000 with no 10 percent option

Charges of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of a controlled dangerous substance were brought against William D. Baroska, 54, of Ocean Township; Justin Coppola, 45, of West Long Branch; Peggy Peduto, 39, of Long Branch; and Rosemary Sanchez, 53, of Long Branch. Peduto was released on her own recognizance. Bail for the others was set at $100,000 with no 10 percent option.

Also arrested on various charges were Richard Macciola, 38, of Manalapan; Anthony DeBlase, 53, of Colts Neck; Anthony Benyola, 43, of Toms River; Thomas Floriani, 68, of Cliffside Park; Joseph Mazzarella, 73, of New York City; Anthony Pintabona, 75, of Secaucus; and Steven Demussi, 50, of Dunellen.

According to the prosecutor’s office, three suspects remained at-large last week: Edward Cichoski, 60, of Wall; Pasquale Dellomo, 41, of Miami, Fla.; and Nuno C. Oliveira, 38, of Asbury Park.

Authorities noted that every suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to contact the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800- 533-1443.

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