Judge issues $100K bond for suspected organized crime member

Judge issues $100K bond for suspected organized crime member
Carmine Agnello appeared in court Friday. (Source: WOIO)
Carmine Agnello appeared in court Friday. (Source: WOIO)

The man police say is connected to organized crime made his first court appearance Friday morning. Judge Dick Ambrose issued a $100,000 bond and required GPS monitoring for Carmine "The Bull" Agnello.

Cleveland police arrested Agnello, 54, and others Wednesday morning. Agnello, a confirmed member of the Gambino Crime Family in New York City by police, is the ex-husband of mobster John Gotti's daughter.

Prosecutors say Agnello was arrested for theft, money laundering, conspiracy, drugging animals before competition, cruelty to animals and corrupting sports.

So far no charges have been filed in this case.

At the same time as Agnello's arrest, authorities executed search warrants at three Cleveland scrapyards in the area of East 116th Street and Harvard Avenue, as well as Agnello's home in Bentleyville.

Officers also uncovered multiple weapons during a search of Agnello's home, which he is not allowed to have, as well as evidence of illegal dumping at his East 116th Street scrap metal operation.

Wednesday's arrests were a result of a cooperative investigation between the Cleveland Division of Police and the NYPD. The investigation began about 18 months ago.

In that time, Cleveland Police say they observed a spike in auto thefts with no recoveries. During the investigation, authorities identified multiple scrap yards they believe were involved in illegal activity.

"His nickname's 'The Bull.' This guy was on the lot every single day. And he stood out a little bit," said Deputy Chief Ed Tomba with the Cleveland Police Department.

The investigation revealed that between 2014 and the present, Agnello systemically defrauded a regional scrap metal processing facility out of more than $3 million.

Authorities say stolen cars were crushed, filled with dirt, then sold as scrap by Agnello's scrap yards for large amounts of money.

"He was scamming the way he knew how to scam, he was extorting people the same way he was in New York," Deputy Chief Tomba said.

Authorities also learned that Agnello was injecting his race horses with banned substances to improve their performance.

"Cleveland has been organized crime-free for quite a while. We didn't want him to get a foothold here," said Deputy Chief Tomba.

"We are not going to let the Mafia sink their teeth back into Cleveland and make this into an outpost for their New York-based corrupt enterprises. Thanks to the innovative and dedicated investigative work of the Cleveland Police, we're going to root them out and put them back in the penitentiary where they belong," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty.

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