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State v. Cirillo

Decided: January 18, 1977.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ANTHONY J. CIRILLO, A/K/A "33," MICHAEL J. LUKACH, A/K/A "5" AND "MICKEY," 333 CLUB, INCORPORATED, MYLES GALL, A/K/A MYLES GAUL, "SONNY" AND "JACK," MARY BABULA, FRANK L. PELUSO, A/K/A "THE SHERIFF," EUGENE ABALSAMO, A/K/A "GENE," AND NICOLA CATALDI, A/K/A "NICKEY," DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



Halpern, Botter and Kolovsky. The opinion of the court was delivered by Botter, J.A.D.

Botter

With leave of court, defendants appeal from an order denying their motions to suppress evidence obtained as a result of telephone communications intercepted under wiretap orders purportedly entered in compliance with N.J.S.A. 2A:156A-1 et seq. , the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. Defendants contend that the orders authorizing the wiretaps signed by Assignment Judge Trautwein on May 1, 1975, May 13, 1975 and May 23, 1975 failed to identify or describe, as required by N.J.S.A. 2A:156A-12(b), the person or persons whose conversations were to be intercepted.*fn1

The first "Affidavit for [wiretap] Application" dated May 1, 1975 was captioned as follows:

IN THE MATTER OF INTERCEPTION OF WIRE COMMUNICATIONS OF AN INDIVIDUAL KNOWN AS ANTHONY J. CIRILLO, AND OTHER UNKNOWN PERSONS ENGAGING IN AN ILLEGAL BOOKMAKING ENTERPRISE AND AN ILLEGAL LOTTERY ENTERPRISE FROM TELEPHONE FACILITIES (201) 945-8522, (BUSINESS PHONE) ASSIGNED TO THE 333 CLUB, 533 SHALER BOULEVARD, RIDGEFIELD, NEW JERSEY, AND (201) 945-9759 (PUBLIC PAY PHONE) ASSIGNED TO THE 333 CLUB, 533 SHALER BOULEVARD, RIDGEFIELD, NEW JERSEY.

In this affidavit Lt. Fallon recited that he received information from a reliable informant that Robert Kuhfuss of North Arlington, New Jersey, was engaged in an illegal

bookmaking enterprise and was accepting bets on sports and horses as well as illegal lottery over telephone facility (201) 998-6492. It was determined from telephone toll call records that in previous months 15 calls to (201) 945-8522, assigned to the 333 Club, were made from the telephone registered to Kuhfuss during "prime times for illegal gambling activity," and 17 calls were made to (201) 440-4858, a telephone assigned to J. Trotta of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, during the same hours.

Analysis of toll calls for (201) 945-8522, listed for the 333 Club, showed 35 calls to the Kuhfuss telephone during prime gambling hours and 26 calls to (201) 423-9774 and (201) 423-0322, both assigned to the Carousel Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey. There were also 93 calls from the 333 Club's telephone (945-8522) to a telephone listed to Vincent M. DiPaola in the Bronx, New York, 14 calls to a pay phone at the Tik Tok Lounge in the Bronx, New York, and 19 calls to a telephone listed to Off Track Betting in New York which would give the results of horse races. Numerous calls were also made to telephones located at an apartment on Webster Avenue in Jersey City listed to a R. Meotti and Thomas Longo.

Toll call records for the telephone listed to J. Trotta, mentioned above, showed 78 calls to the telephones at the Carousel Lounge, 35 calls to Robert Kuhfuss' telephone, 37 to the telephone assigned to DiPaolo and 41 to the Meotti and Longo telephones. A check with New York City police authorities revealed that DiPaolo, whose telephone in the Bronx was called 130 times from the 333 Club and Trotta telephones, had a previous record of gambling offenses.

The Carousel Lounge was owned by Gary Latawiec who was previously investigated and arrested for a conspiracy to violate the gambling laws. Further information was obtained from a private citizen that numbers and horse bets could be placed at the 333 Club with Tony Cirillo or John Trotta and the bets would be called in from the pay phone or the business phone in the liquor store area of the 333

Club. It was also reported that someone named "Chick" took bets at the 333 Club and the Ridge Tavern in Fairview. "Chick" was allegedly a partner of Charles Cappezuto, previously arrested in 1974 for illegal lottery activity. An anonymous letter received by the Bergen County Prosecutor also reported that a man named "Mickey" was taking bets at the 333 Club and used telephones 945-8522 and 945-9759.

A surveillance conducted on April 9, 1975 and April 12, 1975 at the 333 Club disclosed that Cirillo, a co-owner of 333 Club, Inc., used the telephone in the liquor store area and made an outgoing call from this telephone, but no suspicious conversation was overheard. Also, on April 12, 1975, Gary Latawiec was observed in the 333 Club and, after going into the kitchen with Cirillo, was seen receiving a telephone call on the pay phone, writing on paper for 12 minutes and receiving cash from Cirillo. Cirillo was also observed talking on a red phone in the kitchen. Someone named Peter Ferraro of Bergenfield was also observed at the bar talking to Betty the barmaid about races, horses, hits and money. He was overheard taking a numbers bet from Betty, and thereafter he left the tavern.

"Mickey" was observed on April 17, 1975 using the telephones at the 333 Club. Also, someone greeted as "Jack" and as "Trot," identified later as Trotta, entered the 333 Club on April 17, 1975. He was joined by Ferraro, who was greeted as "Willie," and by "Mickey." Someone named "Vince" also entered the bar, discussed horses with Ferraro and gave money to "Mickey."

An unidentified male spoke to Cirillo at the tavern on April 18, 1975 and Cirillo was overheard saying, "I thought I paid him. I'll have to check the book."

On April 18, 1975 Latawiec was observed at the bar talking to Cirillo but he was not seen using the telephones. The next day an unidentified patron was seen speaking to Mickey at the tavern, and both were seen using the pay phone. The patron was ...


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