Click here for a holiday treat, every day from PIX11

Mafia members allegedly traffic cocaine from Manhattan gelato shop

MANHATTAN — Four alleged members and associates of the Gambino and Bonanno organized crime families were arrested Wednesday for, among other things trafficking cocaine out of a gelato shop, federal prosecutors said.

Damiano Zummo, 44 and Salvatore Russo, 45, allegedly sold the cocaine, officials said.  Zummo is also charged with laundering over $250,000 in cash. Another man arrested, 54-year-old Paul Semplice, is charged with loansharking. Paul Ragusa, 46, was arrested on weapons charges.

Zummo and Russo each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted. Semplice faces up to 20 years and Ragusa faces up to 15 years.

The four men were scheduled to be arraigned in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon.

“While we have more work to do, this operation is a giant step in the right direction,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney.

The investigation into the four men arrested lasted two years.

“Today’s arrests send a powerful message that this Office and our law enforcement partners here and abroad are committed to dismantling organized crime groups wherever they are located — whether local or international in scope,” said Acting United States Attorney Bridget Rohde.