Pleas of ‘not guilty’ in RI gambling case

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – More than 20 people have pleaded not guilty to charges that they are tied to a $400,000 illegal sports gambling ring in Rhode Island that authorities say involved several organized crime figures.

All but one defendant, reputed Providence mob figure Frank “Bobo” Marrapese, were released on Wednesday after posting bail at Providence County Superior Court. Alleged mobsters Edward “Eddy” Lato (LAY'-toh) and Alfred “Chippy” Scivola (skee-VOH'-lah) were not brought to court. They are being held in federal custody on separate charges that they shook down Providence-area strip clubs.

A warrant was also issued for 64-year-old Christopher DiSanto, who did not appear for his arraignment. Prosecutors say the ringleader is 50-year-old Vincent Tallo. His wife, Helene, is accused of conspiracy to violate drug laws. Both deny the allegations.