By Jason McLure
(Reuters) - An alleged former captain of organized crime in Rhode Island was sentenced to nine years in prison on Wednesday for his role in extorting as much as $1.5 million from strip clubs and adult bookstores.
Edward Lato, 65, of Providence pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in March, when he also admitted to a separate conspiracy to extort $25,000 from a used car salesman and his wife.
Providence police, state police and the FBI launched a crackdown against organized crime in New England in September. Since then, seven of nine defendants charged with participation in racketeering have pleaded guilty.
In May, Luigi Manocchio, known as the former Patriarca family godfather, was sentenced to five and a half years for his role in racketeering. Among the others was Thomas Iafrate, a bookkeeper for the Satin Doll and Cadillac Lounge strip clubs, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
In April, federal agents arrested Anthony Dinunzio of East Boston, Massachusetts, who they allege was the acting leader of the New England mob. He has plead not guilty to racketeering charges.
(Reporting by Jason McLure in Littleton, New Hampshire; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Lisa Shumaker)