Staten Island Man Pleads Guilty to $1M Cigarette Heist
STATEN ISLAND — A Staten Island man pleaded guilty to plotting the theft of a tractor trailer filled with 270 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes worth $1 million in New Jersey.
Augustine "Augie" Guido, 73, pleaded to conspiracy to commit cargo theft at a Newark Court on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul J. Fishman announced.
In 2010, Guido and seven other people were arrested and accused of stealing a trailer in an Edison, N.J., facility filled with counterfeit cartons of Pall Mall and Lucky 7 cigarettes, Fishman said.
Two others in the heist, John S. Dicrescento, 33, of Staten Island, and Anthony Gerbino, 52, of North Valley Stream, N.Y., also pleaded guilty. Charges against the other five are pending, Fishman said.
The heist of the trailer stems back to 2010 when an informant, who has supplied investigators with information and evidence about members of La Cosa Nostra, attended a funeral with Guido.
Guido asked the informant if he knew any warehouses to rob because he was interested in stealing perfume, cigarettes and medication to sell, Fishman said.
The FBI set up a sting operation at the Edison trucking facility where the trailer was and in July 2010, Guido and the others, wearing masks, broke the lock.
The group then drove a tractor into the facility, attached it to the trailer and drove off, Fishman said.
They drove it to a facility in Peth Amboy, N.J., where officers later recovered 50 of the stolen cartons.
Guido faces a maximum of five years in jail and a $250,000 fine for the heist, Fishman said. He's due back in court in July.