Reputed Gambino capo deserves bail in extortion case: Brooklyn judge

Reputed Gambino capo deserves bail in extortion case: Brooklyn judge

A reputed Gambino crime family captain came one step closer to being released in time for Christmas after a federal judge said she’d consider releasing him on bail in his extortion case.

Joseph Lanni, 52, deserves the same treatment as six other indicted alleged wiseguys who got bail despite their alleged involvement in a violent scheme to take over the city’s carting and demolition business, Brooklyn Federal Court Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak said Thursday.

Pollak stopped short of ordering Lanni’s release, though, saying that she found his proposed bail package insufficient until it can be secured by two properties without any legal questions attached to them. One of the homes he’s willing to put up is owned by a trust.

The feds put Lanni at the top of a plot to squeeze the owners of a New York City carting business and a demolition business out of monthly tributes, through threats, a hammer attack and an arson fire lit on one victim’s front steps. Lanni is not accused of taking a first-hand role in the violence.

Last week, Judge Frederic Block ordered two of Lanni’s alleged underlings released on bail, musing, “You know, in the past we would let murderers out on bail. … We don’t have anything close to that in this particular case. Fortunately, I guess the younger generation of mafioso aren’t killing people these days.”

Pollak relied heavily on Block’s decision, noting that other defendants in the case were linked to specific acts of violence. “These other defendants were also charged with racketeering conspiracy,” she said. Judge Block didn’t find that sufficient to order them detained.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Galeotti tried to argue that Lanni’s violent behavior after getting booted from a Toms River, N.J., bar in Sept. 1 proved he was a danger to the community.

The capo bragged about being a “Gambino” and threatened to “burn this place down with you in it,” then went to a service station across the street and bought a gasoline container — but his associate, Vincent Minsquero, talked him out of filling it with gas, the feds said.

Lanni also called the bar 39 times, threatening the owner even after a police officer took the phone. A few hours later, two men beat and threatened the bar owner and his spouse, according to the feds.

Lanni’s lawyer, Fred Sosinksy, said the bar incident had no connection to the racketeering charges.

“None of this is a great way to spend a Friday afternoon on Labor Day weekend,” he said. “It has nothing to do with this case.”

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