Mob Member With Ties to 1989 DEA Killing Arrested on Drug Charges

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Thursday, Aug 11, 2011  |  Updated 12:14 PM EDT
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Mob Member Arrested on Drug Charges

Joseph Scalfani

A Gambino crime family member with ties to the 1989 killing of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent has been arrested for allegedly running a cocaine and marijuana ring on Staten Island.

DEA agents made the arrests overnight, charging three men with running the drug operation.

Officials said in addition to helping smuggle kilos of cocaine for sale on New York City streets, Joseph Scalfani also helped run marijuana-growing operations on Staten Island.

Investigators said hundreds of plants were grown in one garage on Veterans Highway.

Along with Scalfani, two other suspected Gambino crime family associates were charged. Afrim Kupa, 38, of Staten Island, has past convictions for grand larceny, weapons possession, bank fraud and other crimes.
 
Neil Lombardo, 55, is accused of helping supply cocaine to Scalfani from his base in Las Vegas.  Lombardo has past drug conspiracy convictions and has spent 10 years in prison.

Scalfani was arrested in 1989 for his connection to the killing of DEA agent Everett Hatcher.

The 46-year-old father of two was gunned down while sitting in his car during an undercover drug buy operation. 

The execution of Hatcher led to a massive manhunt for the suspected killer. The shooter, Gus Farace, was found to be hiding out with Scalfani, who was arrested for harboring a fugitive. He spent 30 months in prison.

Farace was later killed in a mob hit.   

As for these latest drug charges, Scalfani and his alleged associates are expected to be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon.  Attorney information for the three men was not immediately available.

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