United States V. Viola
Second Circuit U.S. Court Of Appeals
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Defendants-appellants appeal from judgments of conviction and sentence entered by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Sterling Johnson, Jr., Judge), after a jury trial. They were convicted of substantive and conspiracy violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and (d), as well as substantive and conspiracy violations arising from their involvement in a drug and stolen property importation and distribution ring. The indictment arose out of an investigation of criminal activity on the Brooklyn, New York waterfront that uncovered a scheme by defendant Anthony Viola to use his influence to facilitate the importation of cocaine and marijuana into the country, and to steal goods from the pier and adjacent warehouses and then sell them. Viola was the proprietor of Blue Chip Coffee, a wholesale coffee company in Brooklyn, and the other appellants were associated with him in different ways. Louis Gazzoli was a warehouseman who conducted business with Viola. Gaetano Izzo was a forklift operator at the Cargo Transport warehousing company, but sometimes worked evenings for Viola. Michael Formisano performed odd jobs for Viola, mostly consisting of light clean-up and maintenance work.