The scorpion replies, "It's my nature."
The story of mob rat Peter "Petey Cap" Caporino appears to be similar. Even though the former Hoboken resident wore a wire for the FBI for three years, he was arrested again last month.
The Jersey City Police Special Investigations Unit arrested Caporino in Hoboken on Aug. 23. Caporino was found in his car allegedly with $6,500 in cash and detailed records that listed more than $50,000 in bets. Jersey City Police made the arrest after a three-month investigation.
On Aug. 24, Caporino pleaded not guilty to the charges of promoting gambling, conspiracy to promote gambling, and possession of gambling records. Police believe that he was running his own gambling operation.
Informed on mob for 18 years
Caporino was an associate of the Genovese crime family for nearly 40 years and served as an FBI informant for 18. He was the key cog in bringing down 16 members of a notorious Mafia family with North Jersey operations.
Caporino taped over 300 conversations, using a recorder disguised as a beeper, between 2002 and 2005, according to law enforcement officials.
Caporino was born in Hoboken and ran a bookmaking operation, which was allegedly protected by the Genovese family, out of the Character Club in at 111 Monroe St. His family now lives in Hasbrouck Heights.
Tapes of the operation were a key component in a four-year investigation into a loansharking, gambling, and extortion ring that was allegedly run by the Genovese crime family. The investigation ended with the unsealing of the indictments of 16 reputed members in New Jersey and New York in August 2005.
Why he wore a wire
About 18 years ago, Caporino first became a FBI informant, but for the first 15 years he refused to wear a wire. But in 2002, Caporino, his wife, and about 30 others were arrested on state gambling charges.
According to his testimony, he did not want to see his wife go to jail, so he decided then to become a fully cooperating FBI witness. The feds supplied him with a beeper-sized recorder and he went to work.
The operations of the local bookmaking ring allegedly were handled at The Resolute Club 404, a Hoboken social club at 404 Madison St., where high-level Genovese associate Joseph "Big Joe" Scarbrough, 66, of West Orange, directed loansharking, sports bookmaking, number and football gambling, as well as extortion.
Other alleged misdeeds allegedly occurred at the Downtown Pub at 9 Paterson Ave. in Hoboken near the Jersey City border, and at a deli at 944 Westside Ave. in Jersey City.
The information supplied by Caporino led to the conviction of all 16 of those indicted, including Scarbrough and high-ranking captain Lawrence "Little Larry" Dentico. They were recently sentenced to five years and 51 months years, respectively.
All bets are off
While Caporino was cooperating, law enforcement officials tolerated his illegal activities, but that permission ended on Aug. 12, 2005, when the indictments were unsealed.
Unfortunately for Caporino, it appears that he couldn't give up the life and allegedly started his own bookmaking service, which led to his arrest.
Each of his new charges carries a possible prison term of five years.
Also, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio, his 2002 plea agreement could now be in jeopardy. As part of that deal, Caporino was given a five-year suspended sentence in return for his cooperation. But according to DeFazio, this arrest could lead to Caporino having to serve all or some of the sentence.
Caporino has been released after posting $500,000 bail.