New York resident Matthew Madonna, allegedly one of the ruling bosses of the Lucchese crime family, was sentenced earlier this month to five years in the New Jersey state prison facility in Trenton, after pleading guilty to running an illegal gambling operation. Madonna was formally charged with violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. According to law enforcement officials, the gambling operation was mostly online and involved bets exceeding $ 2 billion.
Madonna was arrested after a New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice investigation, known as "Operation Heat," led to racketeering and money laundering charges against 32 people, including a former state corrections officer and a member of the Bloods gang. According to court records, members of the Lucchese family used the prison official and the gang member to smuggle narcotics and cell phones into the East Jersey State Prison.
Federal law enforcement officers say that Madonna, now 80, of Selden, New York, is one of three individuals who run the Lucchese's organized crime operation. Authorities have filed charges against a second member of that triumvirate, Joseph DiNapoli, of Scarsdale, New York. Other members of the Lucchese family pled guilty to various roles in the gambling business. Ralph V. Perna, of East Hanover, and his two sons, Joseph and John, all agreed to plead guilty. A third son, Ralph M. Perna, has charges pending against him.
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