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Union Boss Sentenced to 12 Years

July 11, 1992

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) _ Reputed mob boss John Riggi was sentenced to 12 years in prison for shaking down building contractors.

Riggi, the reputed head of the DeCavalcante crime family, smiled, blew kisses and raised a clenched fist as he was led from the Superior Court courtroom Friday.

The former business manager of Local 394 of the International Laborers and Hod Carriers in Elizabeth pleaded guilty to extorting kickbacks from two contractors.

The sentence will run concurrently with a 12-year federal sentence on a racketeering charge. He will be eligible for parole in five years.

Riggi was convicted of extortion in 1991, but a federal appeals court overturned the conviction because the trial judge improperly prevented defense attorneys from questioning government witnesses a second time.

The DeCavalcante family concentrates on labor racketeering, dominating asbestos and hazardous waste removal in the area, said Gus Coledanski, head of the organized crime unit of the Union County prosecutor’s office.

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