News from BSO

“OPERATION GOODFELLAS” ARRESTS AND SENTENCING

PIO Number: 02-5-53
Date: May 24, 2002
Time: 9:30 AM (Basto sentencing)
Place of Occurrence: various

Victim(s):

  • State of Florida
  • United States of America

Suspect(s):

  • Frank A. Basto, male, 65, 3/13/37, 3420 NE 13th Avenue, Oakland Park
  • Joseph P. Fafone, male, 62, 6/17/39, 7495 La Paz Blvd., Boca Raton
  • Joseph J. Fafone, male, 41, 4/11/61, 5764 Limestone Lane, Farmington, NY

Description of Incident:

“Operation Goodfellas,” a two-year BSO investigation into organized crime-related narcotics and gambling activities in Broward County, culminated today in the sentencing of a Gambino crime family member, and pending legal action for two of his associates.

Frank “The Bear” Basto, 65, was sentenced this morning to five years and five months (beginning 7/12/02) in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. Basto was arrested January 18, 2002, in the parking lot of the Peter Pan Diner, 1216 East Oakland Park Blvd., after taking delivery of two kilograms of cocaine from an undercover BSO detective posing as a supplier. Basto’s criminal record dates back to 1956 and includes convictions on conspiracy to commit murder, arson, and federal firearms offenses. Law enforcement intelligence information indicates he is a made member of the Gambino crime family.

Basto’s associates (the father and son Fafones) are awaiting trial on an assortment of federal and state charges. 62-year old Joseph “Boca Joe” Fafone, was nabbed Feb. 26, 2002 by BSO deputies in Lauderdale Lakes on federal charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine. Additionally, he and his 41-year-old son Joseph known as “Fafone Jr.,” are charged with running a sports betting operation based in Central America. Both face state bookmaking charges for collecting bets and making cash payoffs locally on wagers placed in Costa Rica via toll-free telephone and internet website links. Both Fafones have extensive past criminal records.

“Operation Goodfellas” was conducted by BSO’s Strategic Investigations Division, formed three years ago by Sheriff Ken Jenne to investigate organized crime, racketeering, narcotics and terrorism threats. The investigation was conducted in valuable partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida, the Broward State Attorney’s Office, and DEA. The operation continues and additional arrests are anticipated.

INVESTIGATORS:
THIS REPORT BY: BSO Strategic Investigations Division Jim Leljedal, Media Relations U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern Dist. Of Florida 5/24/02 2 p.m. Broward State Attorney’s Office, DEA

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