Carmine Franco, 'Papa Smurf' Of Garbage Industry, Arrested In Mob Bust

Carmine Franco (

It turns out "The Sopranos" may have not ended after all.

On Wednesday, Carmine "Papa Smurf" Franco, pictured above, was arrested on racketeering, wire fraud and stolen property charges that sound, as the Newark Star-Ledger observed, like they came right out of the popular HBO show that ended in 2007. Franco, 77, is a New Jersey-based solid-waste manager who reputedly is to tied to organized crime, like TV series' protagonist Tony Soprano. The U.S. Attorney's Office refers to Franco as an associate of the Genovese crime family.

In total, 32 people -- including a retired state trooper -- were arrested and charged in Manhattan federal court as part of the four-year investigation into organized crime's influence on the trash hauling industry in the New Jersey and New York area.

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"Organized crime still wraps its tentacles around industries it has fed off for decades," Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

According to the indictments, which were obtained by the New York Daily News, the suspects conducted a series of illegal activities throughout the greater New York City area. The alleged acts include:
  • Purchase of nearly 100,000 contraband cigarettes for resale.
  • Stealing a hot-dog cart in Orangeburg, N.Y.
  • Forcing clients into payoffs of $500-a-week with threats of physical violence.

In 1998, Franco agreed as part of a plea bargain to be barred from the trash removal business; he'd been charged with defrauding the state of New Jersey and Bergen County out of millions of dollars by shipping garbage to out-of-state landfills.

During the run-up to that settlement, the FBI was recording conversations involving Franco and his then associates. It soon became clear how prized he was by the Genovese family, authorities said.

In the conversations, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Salvatore Profaci, another mafia figure, discussed his role in trying to mediate between Franco and a New Jersey lawyer, Salvatore Arena, over a dispute regarding a Philadelphia-based trash company.

It was paramount for the organization that the issue be settled privately, and not in the courts.

"By blowing Carmine [Franco] out of the water, we are destroying their number-one earner in the whole organization,'' Profaci was recorded as saying in one conversation.

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let me add here, 100,000 cigarettes in reality is 5,000 packs, with 10 packs in a carton, that equals 500 cartons, and could be shoved into the trunk of most luxuary cars, and I really do Not believe that this is what was intended to be prosecuted at this level....

"protection money" could simply be seen as a "security firm", which is in the high level of need these days, and alot of new security firms are rising up, even the school system is looking for a new security system which has armed guards........

The retired state trooper, from what I see was a sort of Bill Collector, and have you ever had a Bill Collector nuisance you on the phone... it is legal, and it doesn't make this Bill Collector deemed guilty of extortion.... he's just a Bill Collector, and they are all, well most all, a nuisance...but it is legal.

Please, let's get this hurricane disaster clean-up operation back going, instead of bringing it to a standstill, with everyone working afraid to fart, in fear of the EPA arresting them for toxic waste violations........

I do NOT see any toxic waste charges, and those might be something that the rest of US might be concerned with... but it looks like these guys are CLEAN, especially in the Hurricane Disaster Clean-Up Operation.

January 22 2013 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



USAM 9-27.240 Initiating and Declining Charges -- Prosecution in Another Jurisdiction

USAM 9-27.250 Non-Criminal Alternatives to Prosecution

Note -- I have worked on the release of over 20 US Soldiers from Iraqi Prisons facing death penalty type charges, whereas they had NO right to Habeas Corpus, These soldiers were then transferred to the US to face charges under the Military jurisdiction... These soldiers faced a fair trial, whereas about half were released, based on the Good Court system that allowed dismissals of cases, simply based on NON PROPER evidence, or Non Adequate Evidence, and "emergency type situations - risks"... Most of those soldiers did or will go onto a being Productive members of society.

I see these guys as Businessmen, in a business, whereas you right to "Liberty and Property" are essential.
To have them compared to some TV series, and prejudged as guilty by way of TV series evidence, is a mockery of Justice, and it only serves to a prejudicial jury, to gain a guilty by way of TV Series.

When that Fact is, in what I see as possibly, just possibly a few mistakes in the Press release, whereas the US Attorney's Office makes this statement of FACT, while all other allegations in the indictment are thus, Simply allegations, yet One Fact stands Tall, and that is this Fact;

"The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty." (last paragraph)

I do not want to go to every news source, asking for retractions simply based on the US Attorneys' own press release, which some may say contradicts itself.... NO, that is Not Me..... I am here to resolve this matter, have these charges dismissed, try to save face for the government in this issue, and get the Good Men back to the Hard Work of the Clean-Up and Hauling of the disastrous hurricane Sandy...... I think the resources are best spent on the clean-up.

January 22 2013 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



USAM 9-27.200 Initiating and Declining Prosecution -- Probable Cause Requirement

4. Decline prosecution and initiate or recommend pretrial diversion or other non-criminal disposition; or

5. Decline prosecution without taking other action.

NOTE -- This seems to show the authority to Decline the prosecution, and without taking other action.
TO believe that the mere allegation of 5 pick-up trucks of cardboard amounts to a Federal crime, or that the "mere allegations" of a stolen hotdog cart amounts to a Federal crime, and many other of these charges, which may have been prompted by an outside source, but still, I do NOT believe they amount to the needed requirements guaranteed to the Good People, under their "individual rights" clause under these guidelines

USAM 9-27.220 Grounds for Commencing or Declining Prosecution

1. No substantial Federal interest would be served by prosecution;
2. The person is subject to effective prosecution in another jurisdiction; or
3. There exists an adequate non-criminal alternative to prosecution.

Note -- I do not see a SUBSTANTIAL Federal interest, in many of these charges, especially the mere allegations of hotdog carts, 5 pick-up trucks of cardboard, loan sharking at the amount of a 1,250 dollar loan.... I do Not think these laws were intended to treat "individuals" this way, simply based on a TV series, which is NOT FACT, it was a TV series...

"The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."

January 22 2013 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



USAM 9-27.140 Modifications or Departures

A. Any significant modification or departure contemplated as a matter of policy or regular practice must be approved by the appropriate Assistant Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General.

NOTE -- I am NOT saying that this was NOT approved at the proper level, but I am trying to emphasize, that these guidelines protect "individual rights", and that their are certain limits and requirements that Must be reached, including the proper approval......... Once again, my plea, is to let these Good Men, Get back to the Hard Work, of this Hurricane Disaster Clean-Up, and use the funding to help rebuild New York/New Jersey, instead of trying to dismantle the Hurricane Clean-Up Operation....... and using a TV series, as a form of evidence, to me seems way out of line, and hampers the "Liberty" of these Good Men on trial.

January 22 2013 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



USAM 9-27.130 Implementation

1. That prosecutorial decisions are made at an appropriate level of responsibility, and are made consistent with these principles; and

2.That serious, unjustified departures from the principles set forth herein are followed by such remedial action, including the imposition of disciplinary sanctions, when warranted, as are deemed appropriate.

NOTE -- Just a suggestion, allow these Good Men to get back to the Hard Work, of this Disaster Clean Up. I can see a defense for these Good Men, and the trial costs everybody money, that is much better spent on the rebuilding of New York/New Jersey, then on tearing down the Clean-Up and Hauling services...

January 22 2013 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



USAM 9-27.110 Purpose

"Under the Federal criminal justice system, the prosecutor has wide latitude in determining when, whom, how, and even whether to prosecute for apparent violations of Federal criminal law...."

"...while making certain also that the RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS are scrupulously protected..."

NOTE..... the right to be "pressumed innocent, unless and until proven guilty" which allows a Jury pool to look at these men, based on the evidence, and NOT prejudge them BASED on some TV SERIES.....

Those are just a FEW of the "INDIVDUAL RIGHTS" on this issue, also their is a "due process" (4th and 14th amendment) both procedural and substative, the right to the "equal protection of the law" (14th amendment)

January 22 2013 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


I believe the Grand jury, and possibly this indictment was NOT thought through well...... For this to happen in the middle of a Hurricane Clean-up Operations seems odd, and seems to slow down, almost bring to a halt the clean-up operation itself....

Let me go through a few guidelines from the UNITED STATES ATTORNEY MANUAL;



USAM 9-27.001 Preface

As such, it should promote the reasoned exercise of prosecutorial authority and contribute to the FAIR, EVENHANDED administration of the Federal criminal laws.

"The Principles provide convenient reference points for the process of making prosecutorial decisions;"

" ...they contribute to more effective management of the government's LIMITED PROSECUTORIAL RESOURCES by promoting GREATER CONSISTENCY among the prosecutorial activities of all United States Attorney's offices and between their activities and the Department's law enforcement priorities..."

"...and they 'INFORM THE PUBLIC' of the 'CAREFUL PROCESS' by which prosecutorial decisions are made..."

"Important though these principles are to the proper operation of our Federal prosecutorial system, the success of that system must rely ultimately on the Character, Integrity, Sensitivity, and Competence of those Men and Women who are selected to represent the public interest in the Federal criminal justice process. It is with their help that these Principles Have Been Prepared, and it is with their efforts that the purposes of these Principles Will Be Achieved" [Cap's added]

Now, the right to be "presumed innocent, unless and until proven guilty" and to Not be prejudged based on some TV series, I think is paramount to the reality of justice.

January 22 2013 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


The History of the grand jury provided, goes back to late 17th Century;

...By the end of the Seventeenth Century, it was designated the task of deciding, based on material presented to it, whether a case was triable. See id. (citing patrick Devlin, The Criminal Prosecution in England 4 (1958).
United States v Green 372 F.Supp.2d 181 (footnote 23) (2003)

This reputation continued to develop in the American colonies, where as early as 1734 grand juries were refusing to carry out the misadvised will of the government -- unwilling to indict individuals who critisized political leaders and, in Massachusetts, refusing to indict the leaders of the Stamp Act RIots. See id. at 832 (citing RIchard Davis Younger. The people's panel: The Grand Jury in the United States 1634-1941, at 2 (1963)).
United States v Green 372 F.Supp.2d 181 (footnote 23) (2003)

COMMENT -- You can see the "History and Spirit" of this Grand jury has pre-dated even the 5th amendment -- Bill Of Rights, and as stated, helped dessigned the 5th amemdment clause of the Bill Of Rights, itself.

My request is just to dismiss these charges, and let these Good Men, get back to the Hard Work, of cleaning up this hurricane disaster.

I will NOTE, these are "merely allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."

Yet, the article reads as if these crimes were committed, as FACT..... I do NOT see any disclaimer that states, or the media reporting them as "INNOCENT until proven guilty".... or that these are "merely allegations".... it seems as if they are trying to show prejudice against these people, and have them prejudged, based on some TV series.......
what's next, are they going to go after Batman for speeding.......c'mon, you are linking TV to real life, and trying to get a conviction from it .... again;

These are "merely allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."

January 22 2013 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



The Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury...

COMMENT -- The wikipedia definition shows a "infamous crime" as a felony with a sentence of over 1 year...... I do NOT agree with this, I believe the "bill of Rights protected those, who would be exposed in the media, to a greaat length, as an "infamous crime family" as a "notorious criminal", those who might be prejudiced, or prejudged, simply based on the FACT, that the media, or "press release" treats them as a "Infamous crime family", when in FACT, they are "innocent until proven guilty"....... the slant of the media, dealing with a "so called" "infamous crime family" can prejudice an entire jury pool, as already guilty prior to the fact, and/or any evidence, and the jury may take a pre-judgement as they walk onto the jury, simply based on the fact, that the Government has labled these "individuals", who are "legitimate business OWNERS" as part of an "infamous crime network", before any facts have been seen.

January 22 2013 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let me say something about trying to label these people, and pre-judge them.... that shows a prejudice against them, and then to try to link them to some TV program from a decade ago, is also prejudice..... Their is a Bill of rights, that protetcts people for "Infamous Crimes"....let me see if I get through and I will continue.

January 22 2013 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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