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DV Pilot Police & Fire

Imprisoned mobster, 72, brought to Bergen on weapons charges

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

NOWHERE BUT CLIFFVIEW PILOT: An imprisoned Genovese family underboss from Upper Saddle River has been transferred to the Bergen County Jail to face charges of having an arsenal of illegal guns in his home, some with the serial numbers scraped off.

Authorities moved 72-year-oldFrank Fea to Hackensack from the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Pennsylvania last week in preparation for a March 11 hearing at the Bergen County courthouse, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Fea began a 30-month sentence last year after he admitted running a gambling and loan-sharking ring out of Rockland with his son and daughter-in-law.

Federal agents raided Fea’s Lilline Lane home three years ago after catching him talking on wiretaps about the multimillion-dollar operation, which authorities said also charged exorbitant interest rates and extorted payments from gamblers.

They said they also watched him confer with various underworld associates charged in the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said the elder Fea fronted most of the money for the illegal betting operation.

Because the guns were seized here, a grand jury in Bergen County indicted him on weapons charges last August. As a convicted felon, Fea wasn’t supposed to have firearms in the first place – never mind the high-powered assault rifles with scopes and automatic handguns that authorities said they seized from his $2.99 million home.

Francis “Frank” Fea, who’s been tied to reputed Genovese kingpin Joseph Pagano and his son, Daniel, has a colorful history in two states.

In July 2011, he pleaded to a federal charge of conspiracy to make extortionate loans, which was contained in an indictment handed up by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in connection with the gambling and loansharking busts.

In addition to the 30-month term agreed to in his plea deal, Fea was fined $60,000 and ordered to undergo supervised release for three years once he’s out of prison.

Fea, who also kept a home in Fort Lauderdale, was arrested in June 2010 during raids at nearly a dozen locations as part of a law enforcement action dubbed “Operation Double Down.” Most of the 18 weapons seized were found at his home, authorities in Rockland said at the time.

Both his son and daughter-in-law were arrested at their homes in Middletown, N.Y., where they operate a Rockland-based construction business.

All three were accused of heading a network that produced hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal gambling revenue each month on pro football, baseball, basketball and hockey games.

Rockland authorities were joined by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, The New York State Police and the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, executing search warrants in Bergen, Rockland, Orange and Ulster counties, as well as in the Bronx, during the early-morning raids.

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