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Reputed Gambino Underboss Sentenced To 15 Years in Jail

February 23, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 70-year-old man reputed to be the underboss of the Gambino crime family has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $820,000 for a racketeering conviction.

U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein said Monday he sentenced Joseph Armone to prison despite his age because he was convinced the defendant was a high-ranking member of the crime family.

Weinstein also cited Armone’s lengthy criminal record, which he said began when the defendant was 15 years old.

Armone, of Brooklyn, was convicted Dec. 22 of racketeering conspiracy involving extortion, bribery and illegal interstate travel to commit bribery.

He was jailed after his conviction when he refused to renounce any organized crime ties, a condition for his release from detention.

He had faced a maximum sentence of 20 years for the most serious charge, racketeering.

One of the bribery charges accused Armone and a co-defendant, Joseph N. Gallo, of plotting to give a $20,000 bribe so that Gallo’s son would be transferred from a state prison to a federal prison, where presumably he would receive better treatment. The plot was unsuccessful.

Gallo, 76, the reputed former consigliere of the Gambino family, was sentenced earlier this month to 10 years in prison and fined $300,000 for his racketeering conviction. Weinstein stayed the sentence pending appeal.

Two other co-defendants were also sentenced Monday. Anthony Vitta, 49, of Queens, a reputed Gambino soldier, was given a 10-year prison sentence and fined $250,000. Vitta was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, loansharking and other charges.

Salvatore Migliorisi, 49, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to three years in jail and fined $25,000 for his extortion and obstruction of justice conviction.

The four defendants were among 16 people with alleged ties to the Gambino family who were indicted in June 1986.

Of the 16 defendants, 11 have now been convicted or have pleaded guilty, two were acquitted, charges against one defendant were dismissed, another defendant is missing and believed dead, and one is awaiting trial.

Armone faces additional federal charges of extortion and racketeering in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he and 12 other people with alleged ties to the Gambino family were named last month in a 22-count indictment.

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