Union County Men Plead Guilty To Charges Related To Illegal Kenilworth Poker Club

NEWARK – Three New Jersey men pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from an illegal poker club in Kenilworth, allegedly operated by an associate of the Genovese organized crime family, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch announced.

Anthony Alfano, 77, of Union, Tonino Colantonio, 32, of Kenilworth, and Guiseppe Pugliese, 33, also of Kenilworth, each entered their guilty pleas to one count each of illegal gambling and illegal gambling conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh in Newark federal court.

The defendants were charged with the gambling offenses in January in a superseding Indictment which also charges 12 other New Jersey residents, including an alleged member and associates of the Genovese organized crime family, variously with racketeering and related offenses.

The defendants admitted that they participated in the management of an illegal poker club formerly located on North 20th Street in Kenilworth, including serving as card dealers for the club. They also admitted that they had telephone conversations during that time period with an alleged associate of the Genovese organized crime family, as part of their involvement in the operation of the illegal poker club in late 2009 and January 2010.

At sentencing, Alfano, Colantonio and Pugliese each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the pecuniary gain or loss from the offenses. Sentencing for the three defendants is currently scheduled for Feb. 6, 2012.

The charges against other defendants are still pending and they are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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