Two longshoremen -- Rocco Ferrandino and Michael Trueba -- have pleaded guilty for extorting Christmas tribute payments from New Jersey dockworkers according to a Justice Department press release:
Charges are still pending against three defendants in the superseding indictment, including a racketeering conspiracy charge against Stephen Depiro, 58, of Kenilworth, N.J., a soldier in the Genovese family. Members of the Genovese family, including Depiro, are charged with conspiring to collect tribute payments from New Jersey port workers at Christmastime each year through their corrupt influence over union officials, including the last three presidents of Local 1235.
Depiro was released on bail in March 2011 after three priests vouched for him as reported by George Anastasia for The Inquirer: "in a letter to the court supporting Depiro's request for bail, three priests and a deacon at his church - St. Theresa's in Kenilworth - cited 'his sincerity' and his 'participation in pastoral programs' and added that 'some of our parishioners . . . told us they are inspired by his prayerful attitude and kindness.'"
The local priests may bless Depiro as a good Catholic but federal prosecutors aren't extolling the kind of Christmas spirit the reputed mobster allegedly practiced on the Jersey docks.
Further reading that may be of interest: