BERLIN - MAY 16: Escort girls await customers at Berlin's exclusive Night Club Bel Ami on May 16, 2006 in Berlin, Germany. Escort girls across Germany are anticipating booming business in June as soccer fans from around the world will descend upon the country for the World Cup. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Gambino mobsters reached "a new low" by pimping teenage girls -- one only 15-years-old -- on Craigslist and asking a boss to approve his own nephew's murder, federal prosecutors charged Tuesday.
Daniel Marino, reputed head of the 200 member Gambino family, and 13 others were charged with a host of crimes, some dating to the days of the feared John Gotti Sr., spanning murder, sex trafficking, extortion, beatings, jury tampering, gambling and loansharking.
"The Mafia is not dead, it is alive and kicking," said Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara. "Modern mobsters may be less colorful, less flamboyant and less glamorous than some of their predecessors, but they are still terrorizing businesses, using baseball bats and putting people in the hospital."
In what authorities called new low for the mob, seven suspects were charged with running a prostitution ring that exploited girls all under the age of 20.
Instead of the usual mob practice of extorting an existing sex business, these alleged Gambinos organized their own by recruiting the girls, driving them to appointments, supplying them to high-stakes poker players and taking half of their earnings, officials said.
Marino, 69, is accused of a murderous betrayal of his own nephew, Frank Hydell, who had turned informant, Bharara said. Lured to a Staten Island strip club, Hydell, 31, was shot to death in 1998 after Marino gave the okay, the prosecutor said.
"When Daniel Marino was faced with that choice, between his own family and the Gambino crime family, he chose the Gambinos," said Bharara.
Another hit, the 1989 shooting of Thomas Spinelli, was ordered because he also had been helping law enforcement, officials said.
The jury tampering charge relates to an aborted attempt to influence the 1982 jury that finally convicted John Gotti the elder, previously called the "Teflon Don" for previous acquittals.
In the 1982 case that finally sent Gotti to prison, alleged Gambino soldier Onofrio Modica sought and found the anonymous sequestered jury at their hotel, authorities said. But Gotti Sr. called off the plan to mess with the jury, falsely believing that he would beat the rap once again.