May 8, 2008

“I’m the Cheese Man.”

Mike @ 7:00 am   |  Comments (4)
Filed under: boston sucks

For loyal Gikku.Com readers who share my obsession with The Fresh Cheese Shop on Endicott Street, here’s more exciting news about its owner…

Reputed underboss vowed during arrest to ‘smile tomorrow’
Globe Staff / May 8, 2008

Reputed New England Mafia underboss Carmen “The Cheese Man” DiNunzio knew he’d been caught in a sting when he was being booked on a bribery charge at the FBI Friday and the man he thought was a corrupt state official stopped by to say hello.
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“He is a FBI agent?” asked DiNunzio, suddenly realizing that the purported Massachusetts highway inspector who had allegedly taken a $10,000 bribe from him in September 2006 was, in fact, an undercover agent, according to documents filed yesterday during a bail hearing in federal court in Boston.

The 50-year-old DiNunzio, who got his nickname because he owns a cheese shop in Boston’s North End, was urged during his arrest to cooperate with investigators, but said “he wouldn’t hurt his ‘friends,’ he would ‘smile today and smile tomorrow,’ and he would take whatever came his way,” according to one of the FBI documents.

DiNunzio, of East Boston, was indicted last week along with two other men, Anthony D’Amore, 55, of Revere and Andrew Marino, 42, of Chelmsford, on a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery. The trio are accused of paying a bribe to the undercover agent in a bid to secure a $6 million contract to provide 300,000 cubic yards of loam or fill for the Big Dig.

DiNunzio sat silently yesterday as secretly recorded FBI tapes of the reputed mobster meeting with the undercover agent were played during a hearing over whether he should remain jailed without bail until the case is resolved.

“Yeah, well, we almost, I was going to throw this [expletive] kid off a roof,” said DiNunzio, apparently referring to D’Amore, as he assured the undercover agent during an Oct. 9, 2006, meeting that D’Amore had not ruined the deal.

“Look it, I don’t even come out, I come out cause of this guy,” said DiNunzio, again apparently referring to D’Amore and assuring the agent that he would personally guarantee the deal went forward. “I’m the Cheese Man.”

Assistant US Attorney Peter K. Levitt said DiNunzio should remain jailed because he might try to harm or intimidate a cooperating witness, who helped orchestrate the sting by introducing DiNunzio to the undercover agent.

FBI Special Agent Michael J. Kelly testified that the witness, whose name has not been revealed, is a longtime friend of DiNunzio’s who works in the construction industry. He said the witness, who was in the loan shark business with DiNunzio, began cooperating in the spring of 2006 while he was under investigation for financial crimes and later pleaded guilty to an unspecified charge in federal court. While conducting surveillance of DiNunzio during the investigation, FBI agents observed other known members of La Cosa Nostra, better known as the Mafia, frequenting DiNunzio’s cheese shop, according to Kelly. He did not name them.

DiNunzio allegedly became a made member of the Mafia in the late 1990s and was tapped to serve as underboss four years ago by reputed boss Luigi “Louie” Manocchio of Providence, according to an FBI affidavit filed in court. DiNunzio was arrested in December 2006 by Massachusetts State Police on unrelated state charges of extortion and gambling conspiracy and is awaiting trial in Essex County.

Anthony Cardinale, a lawyer who represents DiNunzio, said his client, who weighs more than 400 pounds, suffers from diabetes, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, and morbid obesity and must be released from jail in order to get proper medical treatment.

A doctor who works at the Plymouth jail, where DiNunzio is being held, concluded that he is receiving adequate care there and “is pretty healthy and would be in great shape if he lost 120 pounds,” according to an FBI report filed with the court.

Cardinale disputed that and filed a letter from DiNunzio’s physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, who wrote that DiNunzio “suffers from multiple serious medical conditions that require a complex regimen of medications, treatments, careful monitoring, and frequent follow-up visits with numerous specialists.”

US Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein, who has yet to rule on bail, said she will resume the hearing later but set no date.

After the hearing, Cardinale said DiNunzio clearly is not dangerous because he never took any action against the cooperating witness or the man he believed was a corrupt state official after he paid the $10,000 bribe and the deal fell apart in December 2006.

“Carmen did not know until last week that the cooperating witness was the cooperating witness or the supposed inspector was an FBI agent, and for 18 months they didn’t even get a bad look from him, let alone a threat,” Cardinale said. “And now they want to say he’s a menace to society. It’s absurd.”



Thank God Allen was well behaved in Fresh Cheese.

Comment by Caitlin — May 8, 2008 @ 8:44 am


Hey, maybe the FBI’s got good photos of us yukking it up with the Fresh Cheese people. Does the FBI have a Flickr page?

Comment by Allen — May 8, 2008 @ 12:55 pm


I like how the doctor is all, “He would be in great shape if he LOST 120 POUNDS.”

Comment by Mike — May 8, 2008 @ 1:21 pm


Real imported Italian cheese (not that crap wax stuff from Wisconsin that attempts to pass for cheese) will do that to a man.

Comment by Allen — May 8, 2008 @ 3:44 pm


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