Mob Figure, 2 Others Charged In Drug Deal
The indictments follow an undercover investigation that is part of a larger probe touching on a local union and a Cranston business.
BY MIKE STANTON
Journal Staff Writer
A federal grand jury yesterday indicted mobster Matthew L. Guglielmetti Jr. and two associates for cocaine-trafficking conspiracy.
The indictment comes a week after authorities arrested the three men as part of a larger probe that has touched on organized crime, a local union and a Cranston concrete company.
Guglielmetti, 56, a capo regime in the Patriarca crime family, was charged with arranging to protect a large shipment of cocaine that was passing through Rhode Island en route to Canada. He was indicted along with the two men he allegedly provided to guard the drugs in a local hotel, Alan Blamires and Anthony Moscarelli.
The three men, who were arrested last week, are being held without bail at the Wyatt Federal Detention Center in Central Falls, pending a bail hearing at 2 p.m. tomorrow before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Martin.
Yesterday's indictment means that the federal government will not have to present evidence at tomorrow's hearing regarding the alleged crime.
Authorities have been tightlipped about the larger undercover investigation that led to the drug charges. The results of a search warrant last Thursday of the Laborers' International Union in Providence and Capital City Concrete in Cranston remain sealed.
In an affidavit supporting last week's charges, FBI Special Agent Joseph Degnan said that several undercover agents had been conducting an investigation that includes audio and video surveillance. The probe centered around an undercover agent who posed as a businessman and operated an unidentified business with Guglielmetti, who was a silent partner.
Last November, during the investigation, Guglielmetti told his undercover FBI business partner that he needed to make some cash for Christmas. According to the FBI affidavit, the mobster and the agent then hatched a scheme in which Guglielmetti would be paid $1,000 per kilo for "baby-sitting" 67 kilos of cocaine; they also discussed laundering at least half the proceeds once the cocaine was sold in Canada.
The deal came together the night of Jan. 18, when Blamires and Moscarelli, allegedly acting on orders from Guglielmetti, went to a Rhode Island hotel room where 67 kilos of cocaine were hidden in two suitcases, accompanied by two purported drug traffickers who were undercover FBI agents.
The four men allegedly remained in the hotel room together, with the cocaine, for five hours, while Guglielmetti waited at another hotel with the undercover agent posing as his business partner.
At 11 p.m., the undercover agent with Guglielmetti called the other hotel room and told one of the agents there that Blamires and Moscarelli were done. The authorities charge that Guglielmetti subsequently talked by phone with Moscarelli, and that Moscarelli and Blamires then left the hotel room.
The three men were arrested last Thursday, after Guglielmetti met with the undercover agent at an unspecified location in Johnston, expecting to collect his money, the government alleges.
If convicted, the three men face prison terms of 10 years to life.
Authorities say that the meetings were secretly recorded on audio and/or videotape.
Hours after Guglielmetti's arrest last Thursday, local, state and federal law-enforcement officials arrived with search warrants at the offices of the New England Laborers, in the Arthur E. Coia Building at 226 S. Main St., Providence, and also at the offices of Capital City Concrete at 108 Phenix Ave., Cranston.
One of the Laborers' officials whose office was searched, Dominick Ruggerio, administrator of the New England Laborers' Labor-Management Cooperation Trust and a state senator from Providence, has not returned calls seeking comment.
The owner of Capital City Concrete, Lori Mason DeRobbio, has declined comment. Her husband, Albert E. DeRobbio II, who worked for the company, could not be reached for comment. The couple are divorcing.
Among the records that authorities seized from Capital City Concrete were files pertaining to its role in building the parking garage during the past few years for the new Kent County Courthouse in Warwick.
Guglielmetti, a laborers' union member, worked for Capital City Concrete on that courthouse-related project, as did Albert DeRobbio. DeRobbio is the son of Chief District Court Judge Albert E. DeRobbio.
A spokeswoman for Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank J. Williams said yesterday that the court has not been contacted by the FBI for any information about the Kent County Courthouse garage. Nor has Williams received any indication that the courthouse garage project is a focus of the federal probe.
The spokeswoman, Dyana Koelsch, said that the chief justice wanted to clear up some misconceptions since the investigation became public last week that he was involved in choosing Capital City Concrete for the project. She said that the general contractor, H.V. Collins, hired the concrete company as a subcontractor.
"Of course we're concerned that the image of the judiciary not be caught up in this," she said. "But it's difficult to say because we don't know where the investigation is going."
Mike Stanton can be reached at (401) 277-7724, or mstanton [at] projo.com