2006_11_rottenapple.jpgThe Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau announced that the NYPD shut down a sport betting and numbers ring in the Bronx, indicting 11 people, 3 of whom have links to the Lucchese and Genovese crime families. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admited that "the size of this operation was not particularly significant" - it only generated $200,000 in yearly profits - but the gambling ring was run out of the Hunts Point market. And the ring was open to employees, customers "anyone who stopped by the Hunts Point Cooperative Market and the New York City Terminal Produce Cooperative Market in the Bronx," according to the NY Times.

John Caggiano, son-in-law of Genovese crime boss head Dominick Cirillo, owns C&S Wholesale Produce at Hunts Point, allegedly ran the operation, and it turns out that he never even had a license to sell produce! The Daily News reports that his license application was filed in 1999, but the city never did anything:

In his application, Caggiano did not mention that he was son-in-law to Dominick (Quiet Dom) Cirillo, the jailed former acting boss of the Genovese family. He did mention two prior convictions for robbery and drugs.

But a source familiar with the city's probe of the matter said those charges dated back to the 1970s and were not mob related.

Caggiano's checkered past came to light in 2002 shortly after jurisdiction for approving Hunts Point licenses shifted to the city Business Integrity Commission. An official familiar with the matter said investigators also learned Caggiano was Cirillo's relative but no law enforcement agency would identify him as a mob associate.

Because the law doesn't allow the city to reject an applicant merely because they're related to a gangster, the city decided to neither approve nor reject Caggiano's application.

In addition, the city considered C&S "grandfathered in" because they'd been operating at Hunts Point since 1981, years before the law regulating the market went into effect.

Well, that's how bureaucracy works. At any rate, NYPD wants to make sure organized crime "stays out of Hunts Point."

And the name of the sting? "Operation Rotten Apple."

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