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Friday, October 30, 2015

Gino and Mark Stocco caught

Tip offs from residents in the remote area of Dunedoo finally led to the capture of Gino and Mark Stocco.  And along with the two fugitives, police found the body of 68 year old Rosario Cimone, caretaker of the leased property, in a shallow grave not far from the house.

The two men were working on the property when an argument broke out. Cimone asked them to leave because he was worried they would bring unwanted police attention to his farm, and when they refused, they shot him twice in the stomach with a shotgun. 

It's alleged that Mr Cimone, born in Italy, had connections to the Australian branch of the Calabrian Mafia and had a long history of cannabis cultivation offences.  His leased Pinevale property is 13 kilometres off the main road and is so isolated, it doesn't even exist on Google maps.

Mr Cinome was sentenced to four years prison for farming 14,000 cannabis plants and illegal possession of firearms in the 1980s and his son Phillip 35, was also convicted in 2013 of cultivating 1000 cannabis plants on a remote property near Bundarra.

Police think it's unlikely the Stoccos had any ties to Mr Cimone's Mafia connections because they were too unpredictable, never staying long in one place and always on the move.

On Monday, when the pair were driving in the Goonoo State Forest, 60 kms west of Dunedoo, two forestry workers spotted the Landcruiser draped in lengths of hessian.  They alerted police who found a set of tyre tracks leading directly to the farm.

On Tuesday, police met in Goulburn to plan their attack.

On Wednesday, Gino and Mark Stocco were inside the house when heavily armed police told them to come outside with their hands up. When Gino refused to take his hands out of his pockets, he was forced to comply and got a black eye for his trouble.

The pair face 17 charges including murder.

Until this case hit the headlines, we had no idea that the Calabrian Mafia is alive and well in Australia.  I guess if nobody knows about it, police aren't under pressure to do something about it.