45 charged in Mob-run gambling and drug ring (2 Public School Teachers Arrested)NorthJersey.com ^ Tuesday, March 25, 2008 MICHAEL GARTLAND
Posted on 03/26/2008 10:28:00 PM PDT by Coleus
The athletic director and a guidance counselor at North Bergen High School were arrested Tuesday in a drug and gambling ring sting that authorities say was controlled by the Genovese crime family. Athletic Director Jerry Maietta and Guidance Counselor Ralph Marino were among 45 swept up in raids that began at 5 a.m. Tuesday. Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli described the two as lower level operatives in an expansive network of bookies, package holders, drug dealers and drug distributors.
Mark Iafelice, 49, of Edgewater; Brian DiGuilmi, 48, of Emerson; James W. Skinner, 69, of Allenwood; and his son James J. Skinner Jr., 40, of Hazlet, led the operation and have connections with the Genovese family, Molinelli said.
"Individuals in this business – particularly individuals in the Genovese crime family – don’t usually give you a lot of time to pay back the money," he said. "You place a bet with somebody and if you don’t pay, it could be dangerous for you, for your family, for your children." The Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police and the East Rutherford Police Department have been investigating gambling in southern Bergen County since August after a confidential informant told authorities where to place a bet. At least one undercover officer frequented a bookie and eventually infiltrated the network, which led investigators up the chain to Iafelice, DiGuilmi and the Skinners.
On Tuesday, police executed 24 search warrants that led to the seizure of $5 million, five vehicles and at least five pounds of marijuana in Bergen, Hudson, Monmouth and Ocean counties. In North Bergen, the arrests have led the schools superintendent to reconsider the future of the two employees. "Wow," said North Bergen Superintendent Robert Dandorph. "I am absolutely blown away about it … If all this is true, I would be nervous about their future."
Dandorph said that after confirming the news with Molinelli’s office today, he will meet with the school board’s president and lawyer to begin implementing their own investigation. Marino, a guidance counselor at the high school, has been a fixture of the North Bergen sports scene for years and his arrest Tuesday came as a shock to those who know him.