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Gambino Family Soldier Charles Carneglia Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Racketeering Conspiracy and Murder

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 17, 2009
  • Eastern District of New York (718) 254-7000

Charles Carneglia, a member of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Gambino family”), was sentenced today to life imprisonment for RICO conspiracy, including predicate acts of murder, murder conspiracy, felony murder, robbery, kidnaping, marijuana distribution conspiracy, securities fraud conspiracy, and extortion. A federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Carneglia on March 17, 2009, following a six-week trial before Senior United States District Judge Jack B. Weinstein.

The sentence was announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

As established during the trial, Carneglia was affiliated with the Gambino family for more than three decades. He rose to the rank of soldier and was a member of the inner circle of hit men used by the late Gambino family boss John Gotti to commit numerous acts of violence, including several fatal shootings and stabbings. Carneglia was convicted of four murder predicate acts, including the 1977 stabbing murder of Gambino family associate Michael Cotillo, the 1983 stabbing murder of Gambino family associate Salvatore Puma, the 1990 shooting murder of Gambino family soldier Louis DiBono, and the 1990 felony murder of Jose Delgado Rivera, an armored truck guard whom Carneglia and others shot and killed during a robbery at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

At sentencing, Judge Weinstein also determined that the government proved as relevant conduct Carneglia’s commission of the 1976 murder of Brooklyn Criminal Court Officer Albert Gelb, on which the trial jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Gelb was killed four days before he was scheduled to testify against Carneglia at a trial stemming from Gelb’s off-duty arrest of Carneglia for weapons possession. At the time he was slain, the 27-year-old Gelb was already New York’s most decorated court officer.

Carneglia was arrested on February 7, 2008, as part of a 62-defendant-takedown of the Gambino family that included the acting boss, acting underboss, consigliere, six captains or acting captains, 16 soldiers, and numerous associates, as well as members and associates of the Genovese and Bonanno organized crime families.

Mr. Campbell expressed his appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Labor, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, and to the many other members of the law enforcement community for their commitment and unwavering efforts in the investigation and prosecution of the case, and to the United States Marshals Service for its assistance during the trial.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger Burlingame, Evan M. Norris, and Marisa Megur Seifan.

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