Balto.-N.Y. sting nets Gotti associate Arrest sparks bust of multimillion-dollar gambling ring, officials say.

November 07, 1991|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore and New York say they have cracked a multi-million dollar, interstate gambling conspiracy with the arrest of a man they described as reputed mob boss John Gotti's "personal bookmaker."

Dominic Curra, 47, of Lawrence,N.Y., was freed on $250,000 bail yesterday after agreeing to an arraignment in Baltimore on federal conspiracy and gambling charges.

He also promised to avoid such underworld haunts as the Ravenite social club in New York's Little Italy, which prosectors said is Gotti's criminal headquarters.

An indictment unsealed in U.S.District Court in Baltimore yesterday charges Curra; Victor A. Mendez Jr., 41, of Whitestone, N.Y.; and Anthony M. "Porky" Porcelli, 62, who is in federal prison in Lewisburg, Pa., with conspiracy and five counts each of interstate transmission of wagering information. They are to be arraigned in Baltimore Nov. 22.

Sources here said the indictment, returned Oct. 30, was the product of an FBI sting operation that included $3.3 million in bets laid off by a "cooperating witness" who ran a local gambling operation.

Curra and Mendez were arrested in a federal sweep that also involved four narcotics indictments in New York, officials said.

Prosecutor Laura Ward in New York said Curra "is John Gotti's personal bookmaker."

During the 18-month investigation, Curra allegedly took $3.3 million in bets from the cooperator, the indictment said.

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