Chris Paciello's Five Best New Crimes: More Docs Prove SoBe King's Infamous Past
Earlier this month, New Times revealed the staggering number of serious felonies committed by mob turncoat Chris Paciello. The secret FBI interviews with Paciello unearthed by author Frank Owen exposed the former SoBe club king as the very model of the multi-tasking Mafioso, a virtual one man crime wave. But he got off practically scot-free because of his cooperation deal with the government.
Now, additional FBI reports show even more examples of organized crimes to add to an already lengthy list. Here are five of Paciello's most brazen rip-offs that he was never charged with by law enforcement. Click on the links to see the new documents .
5. By his admission, Paciello stole over a hundred automobiles in the early 1990's, often working in tandem with Ray Merolle, the head of a Staten Island car theft ring dubbed the Untouchables, the outfit said to have inspired the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds". Merolle regarded Paciello as a close friend, until he found out that the future clubowner was behind the1991 burglary of the Merolle family home. Paciello stole $30,000 from a safe in the house, money that was supposed to pay for the wedding of Merolle's sister.
4. In the fall of 1993, Paciello and two accomplices posing as flower deliverymen forced their way into the home of a Staten Island restaurant owner known as Tony Meatballs. Paciello had received a tip that the businessman kept as much as a million dollars at the residence. While Paciello ransacked the safe, his accomplices tried to tie up Tony Meatballs but he fought back and managed to chase them out of his house with a gun. A panicked Paciello fled through the back door with Tony Meatballs in hot pursuit, but Paciello dropped the bag of money when the restauranteur fired a shot at him. Paciello was furious that his criminal associates had left him literally holding the bag.
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3. The following year, Paciello hooked up with Bonanno crime family associate Paulie Cantarella to kidnap the proprietor of an auto body repair shop from his workplace. The duo threw the businessman into his Mercedes and drove to his home, where he was forced at gunpoint to turn off the burglar alarm and open a safe containing a large amount of expensive jewelry. The domino effect that Paciello set in motion when he ratted out Paul Cantarella and his father, family underboss Richard "Richie Tattoos" Cantarella, both of whom turned state's evidence, ultimately led to the successful prosecution of the entire top leadership of the Bonanno family.
2. During this same time period, Paciello unwittingly set the stage for another kidnapping when he agreed to accompany two gangsters to break into the home of a Staten Island diner owner named Mike "The Greek" Theodoleo. The trio tried to enter the house through the basement, but failed. Later, Paciello learned that his colleagues had kidnapped Theodoleo's son to extort money from the father.
1. The crime wave continued after Paciello moved to Miami Beach in the fall of 1994 when he tried to burn down local hotspot Groove Jet and then attempted to rob Prince's nightclub Glam Slam. Paciello and two of his cronies also posed as FBI agents in order to steal a local topless dancer's life savings. The trio had heard she kept a large sum of money in a bank safety deposit box. After visiting her at home, the trio waited outside her house and then followed her to the bank. As she left the bank, they grabbed a duffel bag she was carrying, but it was empty.
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