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FBI goes after Gotti's apparent successor

corozzo December 18, 1996
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EST

MIAMI (CNN) -- FBI agents moved to shut down the Gambino crime family's South Florida operation Wednesday, nabbing John Gotti's apparent successor on a Key Biscayne beach as he climbed out of the surf.

The charges include violations of the RICO statute, conspiracy to commit murder and arson, loansharking and extortion, the FBI said.

The indictments claim Nicholas Corozzo, 56, directed the criminal activities of his "South Florida Crew" from Brooklyn using Leonard DiMaria, 55, Ralph Davino, Jr., 53, Anthony Ruggiano, Jr., 43, all from New York, to deliver his orders.

Corozzo, who allegedly succeeded John Gotti as the Gabino family leader, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on the beach. Davino, Ruggiano and DiMaria were arrested along with David Furman, 30, of Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Four others who were indicted had not yet been taken into custody.

The indictment alleges the defendants engaged in loansharking, charging up to 260 percent annual interest rates; transported stolen designer sunglasses for sale in south Florida; conspired to commit arson in retaliation for the testimony of a defendant in an unrelated prosecution; threatened witnesses and concealed incriminating evidence; and conspired to murder Louis Maione, whom they believed had stolen money from the Gabino family.

"This is one more step in fulfilling our mandate to target organized crime," said U.S. Attorney William Keefer.

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