New England mob associate Vincent “Tootsie” Tallo, age 53, with a last known address of 12 Poppyhill Drive, Johnston, pled nolo contendere today before Superior Court Justice Jeffrey A. Lanphear for operating an illegal gambling ring. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Tallo was sentenced to 20 years with forty months to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. He was remanded to the ACI upon sentencing.
Tallo was arrested in May, 2011 after a six month joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General and the Rhode Island State Police that led to the arrest of Tallo and 22 other individuals with ties to organized crime involved in an illegal gambling ring.
“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,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
Members of the Rhode Island State Police Intelligence Unit initiated an investigation of the organized criminal gambling operation being conducted by Tallo. Detective Cynthia Trahan and Corporal Christopher Zarella led the investigation and Assistant Attorney General James Baum, the chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.
In November of 2010, the Office of Attorney General applied for a court authorized wire intercept was signed by the Honorable Alice B. Gibney, Presiding Justice of the Superior Court, allowing members of the State Police to intercept communications over Tallo's cellular telephone.
Detectives monitored and recorded thousands of incriminating conversations as well as conducted physical surveillance. 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. Detectives also learned that Tallo was illegally purchasing and selling prescription narcotics from his residence and was in possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance.
As the investigation progressed, various accomplices involved in Tallo's criminal operation were identified including "made members" of the New England Organized Crime family who were directing and profiting from the criminal operation. Two of these individuals were identified as Edward Lato and Marrapese, both long standing and members of the Patriarca Organized Crime family.
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