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More Sentenced in Pizza Connection Case

June 24, 1987 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ A courier and a messenger in the Mafia-operated Pizza Connection heroin and cocaine ring were sentenced to 12-year prison terms and fined $50,000 apiece Wednesday.

Emanuele Palazzolo, 40, of Milton, Wis., and Giovanni Cangialosi, 36, of Baldwin, N.Y., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Pierre Leval for their roles in the $1.6 billion ring, which used pizzarias as distribution fronts.

Another defendant, Salvatore Salamone, 37, of Freeland, Pa., was sentenced to five years in prison. Salamone has been convicted of false statements and money laundering but acquitted of more serious drug charges.

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On Monday and Tuesday, Leval sentenced 11 other people to lengthy prison terms and steep fines, and ordered eight of them to pay $3.3 million into a fund to provide drug addicts with medical treatment.

One defendant, Samuel Evola, 49, of Temperance, Mich., pleaded guilty to taking part in the narcotics enterprise in a last-minute move Tuesday evening for leniency before he was sentenced. He received 15 years but no fines.

Prosecutors said Evola, convicted of drug conspiracy and racketeering, stored drugs at his home for delivery n New York. It called him ″a wholesale distributor of multikilogram quantities of high-purity narcotics.″

Palazzolo’s work as a courier included carrying drugs from Evola’s home to New York, prosecutors said, while Cangialosi came to the United States from Sicily as a messenger assigned to clear up drug delivery problems.

On Tuesday, Leval sentenced Francesco Polizzi, 52, a Belleville, N.J., restaurateur and developer who was identified by the government as a captain in the DeCavalcante crime family, to 20 years and a fine of $50,000.

He also sentenced Francesco Castronovo, 53, of Parlin, N.J., to 25 years without parole and a $350,000 fine; Salvatore Greco, 54, of Oakhurst, N.J., to 20 years and $200,000; Filippo Casamento, 61, of Brooklyn, 30 years and $75,000; Giovanni Ligammari, 48, of Saddle River, N.J., 15 years and $50,000.

Castronovo, Polizzi, Ligammari and Casamento also were ordered to make restitution to their victims by paying $200,000 each into a fund to be used to give medical and psychiatric treatment to drug addicts. Leval had ordered four defendants Monday to pay $2.5 million into the fund.

The drug ring, operating from 1975 to 1984, was described by prosecutors as a joint effort by the Sicilian and U.S. branches of the Mafia.