Imprisoned mob captain back in RI for short stay

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Mob capo regime Edward “Eddie” Lato is back in Rhode Island for the first time since his conviction in a sweeping mob case two years ago, but his visit will be short-lived, the Target 12 Investigators have learned.

Lato, 67, formerly of Johnston, was transferred to the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institution on Sept. 10 from a federal prison in Estill, S.C. He was serving a nine-year sentence for a federal conspiracy and extortion conviction.

Amy Kempe, a spokesperson for the R.I. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, confirmed Lato was back in the state to face a state conspiracy charge for his role in an alleged illegal gambling ring that was busted open in 2011.

The state case was put on hold while the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s office wrapped up the federal case that also brought down former New England mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio.

In 2012 Lato pleaded guilty to charges that he took part in a scheme to shakedown strip clubs for protection money and extort $25,000 from a used car salesman.

Of the nine defendants in the federal case – including former reputed underboss Anthony DiNunzio of East Boston – Lato received the stiffest sentence. At the time, U.S. District Court Judge William Smith cited Lato’s lengthy criminal record on sentencing day in June 2012.

According to a press release at the time of state case, Lato was swept up by the R.I. State Police along with 23 other individuals including longtime made members and mob associates.

Also arrested in the sting was Frank “Bobo” Marrapese – who was on parole for the 1987 gangland slaying of Richard “Dickie” Callie. He was released from prison in 2008 – and Alfred “Chippy” Scivola. Scivola was just released to home confinement from a charge in the federal case.

Using court authorized wiretaps, state police detectives unearthed a large illegal gambling operation they say was run by Vincent “Vinnie” Tallo.

“It is alleged that proceeds of these activities were funneled to Edward C. Lato via intermediaries,” the press release stated.

After the state case concludes, Lato will be returned to federal custody. His sentence is scheduled to wrap up in July 2019.

Tim White ( twhite@wpri.com ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter: @white_tim

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