NEW JERSEY ARRESTS SEVEN ILA OFFICIALS IN WATERFRONT STING
New Jersey’s Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission of New York harbor jointly reported the arrests of seven current and former officials the International Longshoremen’s Association's Local No. 1588 on charges of racketeering, extortion, bribery and conspiracy.
“The charges are pending while indictments are being prepared,” a spokesman for the Criminal Division said. “They now are going through New Jersey’s grand jury system.”
The Division of Criminal Justice and the Waterfront Commission also said that all seven officials were reputed members or associates of the New York-based Genovese crime family.
The arrested officials allegedly demanded money from ILA members in return for prime job assignments, training for higher paying jobs, and overtime assignments.
The sting operation that bagged the arrested officials ended after a repairman discovered the leads to a video camera planted by investigators in the office of Local No. 1588.
“We have uncovered evidence that corruption, organized crime influence and other illegal activity has attempted to control the way business is done at Hudson River shipping terminals. We intend to end these practices,” said a joint statement by the two agencies.
The arrested officials included Nicholas Furina, 70, of Warren, N.J., employed as a hiring agent for P&O Ports of North America Inc., in Jersey City. The investigation identified Furina as the reputed boss of the shakedown operation. P&O Ports did not respond to repeated calls from AS+.
Others arrested were Ralph Esposito, 49, of Lincroft, N.J., union shop steward for ILA Local No 1588 at Global Terminal in Port Jersey, Jersey City; Anthony D’Errico, 62, of Monroe Township, N.J., field boss of Local No. 1588 at Global Terminal; Aniello 'Sonny' Bello, 66, of Bayonne, N.J., hiring agent at Global Terminal; John “Tippy” Timpanaro, 45, of Middletown, N.J., president of ILA Local No. 1588; Carlo Bilancione, 67, of Hightstown, N.J., a former ILA field boss at the Global Terminal; and Nicholas Romano, 47, of Warren, N.J., a former ILA shop steward at the Global Terminal.
John Bowers, ILA president, told AS+ through a spokesman that the union’s legal counsel was reviewing the charges, which the spokesman described as “very sad indeed,” noting that any further comment would be left to Local No. 1588. A representative of the local would not comment.