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The Latest: Gambino crime family associates released on bail

November 16, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on two Gambino crime family associates charged in a 2015 fire (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Two reputed associates of the Gambino crime family have been released from jail where they’ve been held on charges related to a businessman’s burned Mercedes Benz in New York City.

Peter Tuccio and Jonathan Gurino appeared in court Friday on charges of extortion, arson and conspiracy in the 2015 fire. They were arrested and charged earlier in the day, and were released despite a request by federal prosecutors that they be jailed pending trial. Each were released on $700,000 bail.

A prosecutor noted that a witness to the fire found a dead rat placed on her car.

Gurino’s defense attorney, Todd Greenberg, called the charges “false” and said his client is “looking forward to his trial.” A defense attorney for Tuccio did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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2:15 p.m.

Two reputed associates of the Gambino crime family have been charged with torching a businessman’s Mercedes Benz in New York City.

Peter Tuccio and Jonathan Gurino face federal counts of extortion, arson and conspiracy in the 2015 fire. They were arrested Friday and were awaiting a court appearance. It was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys.

Authorities say the Gambino crime family targeted the businessman after he began dodging extortion payments.

The FBI says surveillance video captured a third man, Gino Gabrielli, pouring liquid on the Mercedes before it erupted in flames outside the businessman’s Queens’ home.

Gabrielli sustained third-degree burns and pleaded guilty to arson in 2016. He initially claimed he received the injuries while cooking chicken and rice at his home — an account his mother contradicted.

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