Undercover Fed Busts Major Bonanno Mob Ring In South Florida

An undercover FBI sting unraveled a South Florida wing of the infamous Bonanno Crime Family, leading to charges this morning against 11 members who are accused of running a dizzying criminal empire.

Allegedly, the men smuggled cigarettes and committed bank and mail fraud. They laundered money, sold drugs and extorted business owners with violent threats. They trafficked stolen goods and ran insurance and Medicare scams. And just for good measure, they beat people up for money, conspired to murder and burned down a commercial building, according to the feds.

An undercover FBI agent posing as a corrupt businessman infiltrated the Bonanno crew, which was run by Thomas Fiore, a non-member associate of the mob living in Boynton Beach, the indictment says.

The agent spent months with Fiore's crew as they ran a fraudulent check scheme, laundered money through foreign bank accounts, distributed oxycodone and other narcotics, sold loads of stolen plasma TVs and black market cigarettes.

Now eleven members of the crew are under federal indictment.

Here's the list:

  • Thomas Fiore, 46, of Boynton Beach
  • Pasquale Rubbo, 43, of Coral Springs
  • Frank D'Amato, 48, of West Palm Beach
  • Joseph Rubbo, 45, of Coral Springs
  • Kenneth Dunn, 44, of Boca Raton
  • Billie Robertson, 34, of Boynton Beach
  • Nicholas Fiore, 49, of Boca Raton
  • Lee Klein, 39, of Boynton Beach
  • Marc Broder, 42, of Coral Springs
  • Daniel Young, 57, of Delray Beach
  • Guy Alessi, 81, of Delray Beach
Two notes about the list: No, that's not the same Lee Klein who spends his days as New Times restaurant guru. And Riptide is going to assume that Guy Alessi, the spry 81-year-old on the list, was not the muscle in the extortion schemes.

You can read more about the Bonanno Crime Family -- one of the "Five Families" that ran organized crime in New York City for decades -- right here.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink