FBI Probe Of Danbury Trashers Owner Widens
From an article that ran in today's Hartford Courant:
Two Connecticut state troopers have been suspended from regular duty after information surfaced that they provided law enforcement motor vehicle records to a company at the center of a federal investigation of payoffs and mob involvement in the trash-hauling industry, law enforcement and other sources said. In at least one case, sources said, one of the troopers received tickets to a professional football game.
The two troopers are accused of improperly accessing computerized state police motor vehicle records at the request of an employee of Automated Waste Disposal Inc. in Danbury. State police records typically include vehicle registration information and driver law enforcement histories. It is unclear how the information was used.
FBI and IRS agents raided Automated, dozens of other trash-related companies and government offices across Connecticut and suburban New York in July as part of a broad investigation of the regional hauling industry.
Sources, who agreed to discuss the investigation on the condition that they remain anonymous, said the federal investigation of the hauling industry has been active for at least eight months and has involved court authorized wiretaps of multiple telephone lines. The sources said they were unable to say when it is alleged that the troopers provided information to Automated.
During the July raids, teams of agents served subpoenas at more than 60 businesses, private homes and government offices in Connecticut and New York. The sources said federal agents were looking for evidence that mob-controlled trash haulers used threats of violence and payments to government figures to stifle competition.
It has become apparent from investigative activity since that Galante and a business partner, Thomas Milo of Pelham, N.Y., are at the center of the investigation. Galante owns more than 20 trash-related businesses operating in New York state and Connecticut and, through Automated, dominates hauling in western Connecticut. He was linked through Milo in federal court in the middle 1990s to mob efforts to stifle competition in Westchester County, N.Y.
In 1996, Milo was one of seven people charged by federal prosecutors in New York with mob-related racketeering, extortion and tax conspiracy charges in connection with the trash industry in a 61-count indictment. He pleaded guilty to lesser tax-related offenses after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors. Milo was sentenced to 36 months in prison and fined $3.16 million.
In a separate case three years later, Galante was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $100,000 for assisting in the preparation of false corporate tax returns.
In addition to AWD, Inc., Galante owns the Danbury Trashers of the United Hockey League. During the Trashers' initial season last year, Galante was charged with several offenses related to his operation of the team, including assaulting a UHL linesman last December, and for pushing through renovations of the Danbury Ice Arena without allowing "timely city inspections for building code violations" (the list of code violations was 28 pages long).
In the interest of not being completely negative, since the Trashers are a local Connecticut pro hockey team and thus deserving of your support, here's a video you can watch about purchasing Danbury Trashers season tickets.