CLEVELAND- Cleveland police arrested a member of the Gambino crime family following an 18-month investigation.
Deputy Cleveland Police Chief Ed Tomba said detectives noticed a spike in car thefts in part of the city. Instead of the cars found stripped and burned out, most of the vehicles weren't recovered. That prompted "Operation Goodfella," a long-term investigation into a scrap yard at East 116th Street and Harvard Avenue.
Officers began serving search and arrest warrants Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning when they arrested Carmine Agnello at his Cleveland scrap yard. Agnello, a former son-in-law of the late John Gotti, is charged with theft, money laundering conspiracy and corrupting sports. Tomba said he specializes in illegal scrap metal rings.
Agnello defrauded a victim of about $3 million by weighing down cars with dirt when they were weighed as his scrap facility, Tomba said. He also is accused of illegally drugging race horses and more charges are pending.
“This was an outstanding operation by the Cleveland police,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said. “I admire their determination to make sure the mafia does not take root in Cleveland again.”
This investigation also involved the New York City Organized Crime Control Bureau.
Agnello served time in prison from 2001 to 2008 for similar crimes in Queens, New York. After his release, he got married and moved to Bentleyville, Ohio.