The mob has hit a “new low” – pimping out young girls, including a baby-faced 15-year-old, on craigslist, authorities said Tuesday.
The creepy crime was among a litany of charges leveled against 14 members of the Gambino crime family, including a current boss, Daniel Marino. The indictment includes Mafia standbys like loansharking, extortion and, of course, murder.
But an interstate sex-trafficking ring was a new one for prosecutors.
“No crime seems too depraved to be exploited if it was a moneymaker, including the sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old,” added FBI Special Agent in Charge George Venizelos.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called it “a new low.” The scheme to recruit girls from strip clubs to work as hookers was hatched by Gambino soldier Thomas Orefice, the feds said. He personally looked over the 15-year-old, a 10th-grade runaway, and consented for his goons to sell her for sex, prosecutors charge.
“[She] looked much younger,” a law enforcement source said. “Like she wasn’t old enough to be even a Girl Scout, like she still played with dolls.” Prosecutors say Orefice advertised the girls, ranging in age from 15 to 19, on craigslist with ads that included the phone number of Gambino madam Suzanne Porcelli.
Porcelli set up the appointments, and Orefice’s crew members drove the women to appointments in New York and New Jersey, waited for them and took half their $200-per-session payment, prosecutors say.
Wiseguy Anthony Manzella was allegedly caught on tape giving one frightened girl advice on how to deal with a john who insisted on a sex act she didn’t want to perform. As a sideline, Orefice made these same women available to gamblers who played poker at his illegal, high-stakes games, prosecutors charge.
When they serviced the poker players, the fee went into the pot, prosecutors said. The indictment also includes allegations of crimes dating back to the era when John Gotti ran the family – including an aborted jury tampering plan for his 1992 trial. Marino is charged with conspiring with Gotti and Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano to murder Gambino soldier Thomas Spinelli in 1989 to stop him from turning into a snitch.
He’s also accused in the 1998 murder of his own nephew, Frank Hydell, who was shot in a strip club because the mobsters suspected he was singing to the feds.