A Johnston resident prosecutors describe as a mob associate will serve more than three years in prison as part of a plea agreement entered in Superior Court this week.
Vincent “Tootsie” Tallo, 53, with a last known address of 12 Poppyhill Drive in Johnston, entered a plea of no contest on charges he operated an illegal gambling ring. Under the terms of the agreement, he was sentenced to 20 years with 40 months to serve, and the remainder of the sentence was suspended with probation.
“Hollywood may have glamorized the mob lifestyle, but Vinny Tallo is nothing more than a common criminal hanging on to the fantasy of being in the game with a ‘made guy.’ There is nothing glamorous about selling drugs, bookmaking or prison,” Attorney General Peter Kilmartin states in a press release.
According to Kilmartin’s office, Tallo was arrested in May 2011 after a six-month joint investigation by the attorney general’s office and Rhode Island State Police.
The probe, which the attorney general said involved a court-authorized wire intercept of Tallo’s cell phone, also led to the arrest of 22 other individuals prosecutors say have ties to organized crime and were involved in an illegal gambling ring.
“Detectives monitored and recorded thousands of incriminating conversations as well as conducted physical surveillance,” the attorney general’s release states. “The investigation established that Tallo was conducting an organized criminal gambling operation by accepting illegal sports wagers on various professional and college sporting events. Tallo further arranged for payouts and collections of the wagers won or lost by his customers.”
Prosecutors say detectives also learned Tallo was involved in the illegal purchase and sale of prescription drugs from his residence and also possessed a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance.
According to the attorney general’s office, the investigation additionally identified “made members” of New England organized crime who were involved in the gambling operation. Two were identified as Edward C. Lato and Frank L. Marrapese, who prosecutors say are members of the Patriarca crime family.