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The Boston Globe

Metro

Mark Rossetti associate sentenced

A North Andover man will spend up to four years in state prison for his role in a sprawling criminal enterprise led by reputed New England mob boss Mark Rossetti, prosecutors said.

Joseph Giallanella, 64, ­received a 2-to-4-year prison sentence Monday from Judge Maynard M. Kirpalani in Essex Superior Court, District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s ­office said in a statement.

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A lawyer for Giallanella, ­Michael J. Callanan, declined to comment.

Giallanella pleaded guilty in January to several charges includ­ing managing a gaming enterprise, criminal usury, and being an accessory after the fact of larceny, the statement said.

An investigation of his loan-sharking and gambling activity in 2009 led to a probe of organized crime across Eastern Massachusetts, according to prosecutors.

The inquiry culminated in the indictments in October 2010 of about 30 people who ­allegedly belonged to the outfit headed by Rossetti, formerly of East Boston. The defendants, many of whom have been convicted, were charged with crimes including drug trafficking, extortion, gaming, loan-sharking, home invasion, kidnapping, and illegal possession of firearms.

Rossetti, 53, is serving multiple state prison sentences for convictions of breaking and entering and heroin trafficking. The Globe reported in 2011 that Rossetti was acting as an FBI informant while State ­Police were investigating him.

He still has charges pending in Suffolk County.

John T. Dawley, an Essex prosecutor, requested that ­Giallanella be sentenced to five to seven years for his role in the Rossetti organization, according to Blodgett’s office.

“This defendant is at the top of the pyramid of an organized loan-sharking and bookmaking enterprise which is the lifeblood of traditional organized crime,” Dawley said in his sentencing argument, according to the statement. “He collected gaming debts and street loans using threats and violence.”

Dawley added, “While people choose to associate with and do business with the defendant at their own peril, society is nevertheless harmed when those people in turn steal substantial amounts of money from legitimate businesses to cover their own gaming losses.”

An employee of a Wakefield corporation who owed Giallanella money stole nearly $1.8 million from the company, Dawley said.

Giallanella has more charges pending in Middlesex County, including assault and battery, witness intimidation, and ­attempted extortion, the statement said. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office is handling that prosecution.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.

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