Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Galante Arrested Today, Danbury Trashers Named As Defendants

From and the Hartford Courant:

NEW HAVEN, CONN. (AP) June 9, 2006 1:28pm EDT - The reputed boss of the Genovese crime family, a former Waterbury mayor and the owner of a Danbury trashing hauling business were among more than a dozen people arrested Friday in a federal investigation into the mob's influence over the region's trash hauling industry.

Federal authorities were discussing plans to take over operations at the trash hauling businesses, which handle garbage pickup for thousands of residents and businesses in about 20 southwest Connecticut towns, according to an attorney for the companies.

James Galante was arrested at his Danbury trash hauling company, Automated Waste Disposal, according to his attorney, Hugh Keefe. James Pickerstein, an attorney for Galante's businesses, confirmed that several employees were also arrested along with him.

The federal Organized Crime Strike Force is investigating a so-called "property rights" scheme in which trash haulers carve out routes for each other and agree not to poach customers. That scheme, investigators say, drives up prices for customers and is enforced by violence.

Galante owns or has ties to at least 25 of about 60 companies under scrutiny in the case. His attorneys say he is an honest businessman known for his civic work in Danbury. He also owns the Danbury Trashers, a minor league hockey team in the United Hockey League. The team is named as a defendant in the case.

Galante's UHL team, the Danbury Trashers, reached the UHL's Colonial Cup finals this season, losing in five games to the Kalamazoo Wings.

Galante's racing team, led by top local Modified driver Ted Christopher (who drives Winston Cup cars occasionally), was also involved in the arrest. Federal marshalls seized all of Christopher's race cars and equipment at his shop earlier this morning.


Trashing Danbury 3/31/06

FBI's Galante probe includes UHL players 3/18/06

FBI Probe Of Danbury Trashers Owner Widens 11/29/05

Danbury Trashers' Owner Targeted By Feds 7/21/05