The financial crisis has hit us all in unique and unforeseen ways—even robbers have had to downgrade to using branches for their stickups. And it seems that it's no different for the mafia: three Gambino associates were arrested and charged with running three marijuana grow houses and a cocaine distribution ring on Staten Island.
Among those arrested were reputed soldiers Neil Lombardo, 55, who shot and wounded an informant’s brother; Joseph (Joe Boy) Sclafani, 46, who in 1989 harbored a fugitive mobster who killed a DEA agent; and Afrim Kupa, 38, a professional heist man with ties to Albanian organized crime and the Gambinos.
Feds say their marijuana operation lasted more than three years. DEA agents raided one of their grow houses last night, seizing 150 marijuana plants; when they arrested Kupa in his home in Richmond, they found a kilo of cocaine, and the suspect wearing an ankle bracelet from a past arrest.