WASHINGTON – Edward “Eddy” Lato, 65, of Providence, R.I., an admitted capo regime in the New England La Cosa Nostra (NELCN), was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 108 months in federal prison for participating in racketeering extortion conspiracies of several Rhode Island adult entertainment businesses and of a car salesman and his wife.
U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered Lato to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Lato pleaded guilty on March 13, 2012, to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
Lato’s sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Peter F. Neronha, U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Pare.
At the time of his guilty plea, Lato admitted to the court that he participated in a racketeering and extortion conspiracy that demanded and received between $800,000 and $1.5 million in “protection” payments from several adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island from 1995 to 2009. He also admitted his participation in a conspiracy to extort $25,000 from a Rhode Island car salesman and his wife by using implied threats of violence. The wife ultimately withdrew $25,000 from a retirement account to satisfy the demand for payment.
Seven of the nine defendants named in superseding indictments and charged with participating in the racketeering and extortion conspiracy, including admitted longtime former NELCN underboss and boss Luigi Manocchio, have pleaded guilty. Manocchio was sentenced on May 11, 2012, to 66 months in federal prison.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland for the District of Rhode Island and Trial Attorney Sam Nazzaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.
The matter was investigated by the FBI, Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department.