Sunday, May 11, 2008

Guilty Plea In Trash Price-Fixing Case




By EDMUND H. MAHONY | Courant Staff Writer
May 9, 2008



The former top salesman for the [Connecticut] Danbury trash company at the center of a federal price fixing case pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Thursday to racketeering and making a false statement to federal investigators.

Among other things, Richard Galietti, 35, of Fort Myers, Fla., admitted in court Thursday that he asked his state trooper cousin and another law enforcement officer to check the ownership of cars that the garbagemen thought might be surveillance vehicles driven by federal investigators.

Until recently, Galietti was the lead salesman for Automated Waste Disposal and a number of affiliated companies based in Danbury and operated by indicted trash executive James Galante. Galietti, Galante and 31 others, as well as 10 businesses, are named in a series of indictments beginning in June 2006 and are charged in a broad racketeering conspiracy with monopolizing the trash hauling business to drive up prices in western Connecticut and upstate New York.

A year ago, Galante and his employees were in the news when former state Senate Minority Leader Louis C. DeLuca admitted asking the trash executive to have someone rough up his granddaughter's husband.

In the garbage indictment, Galante, Galietti and their co-defendants are accused of conspiring to set up a "property rights system" under which carters divide up customers and agree not to compete. Such a system allows carters to artificially inflate prices, according to federal prosecutors.

Galietti is accused of helping to set up the system and enforce compliance by reluctant participants through the use of threats and violence. Sources familiar with the case said he promised to "gouge" out the eyes of a rival hauler during a drunken telephone conversation. The sources said he also has been tied to a BB gun attack on a rival's truck.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that Galietti asked his state trooper cousin and a friend who worked for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to run license plate information through law enforcement databases in an effort to learn whether he was under investigation.

The false statement charge to which Galietti pleaded guilty arises from a 2006 Internal Revenue Service investigation of a Fort Myers company. Galietti went to work for the Florida company after being released on bond in the garbage case.

IRS agents encountered Galietti on Dec. 14, 2006, while executing a search warrant on the company. When the IRS agents asked Galietti whether he worked for the company, he replied that he did not and that he was just "dropping by to say hello." A federal grand jury in Florida indicted Galietti for the false statement, federal prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns said Thursday that Galietti will be sentenced on July 24. Under sentencing guidelines, he faces 37 to 46 months in prison and a fine of from $7,500 to $75,000. Federal prosecutors said he also has agreed to forfeit $130,750 in property to the government.

Contact Edmund H. Mahony at emahony@courant.com.

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My comment posted to the Hartford Courant piece:

There seems to be more and more evidence of a mob/CT State Police connection.

Maybe the CT State Police should be investigated as a corrupt organization by the Feds.

The 128 page official report on the Connecticut State Police shows them to be an armed and dangerous criminal gang, it is about time to break up their little party.

Reasons to abolish the Connecticut State Police for a Connecticut Highway Patrol:
http://starkravingviking.blogspot.com/2008/05...

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