Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Carmine "The Bull" Agnello Will Avoid Jail, Fork Over a Hefty Fine in Plea Deal on Racketeering and Conspiracy Charges From 2015 in Cleveland

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Update: Two years after being arrested and charged on racketeering and conspiracy charges in Cleveland Carmine "The Bull" Agnello pleaded guilty this week to lesser charges and avoided jail time.

The former son-in-law of John Gotti and reputed Gambino family mobster copped to theft, possession of a gun by a felon, and an environmental violation in connection with allegations that he ran a multi-million dollar scheme of stolen cars and scrap metal.

Agnello will fork over a $180,000 fine and be put on inactive probation until he pays the full amount.


(Original story 7/15/15): Carmine Agnello, a reputed mobster and the former son-in-law of mob boss John Gotti, was arrested this morning at his Cleveland scrapyard on East 116th Street, federal officials announced.

The 55-year-old Agnello is one of 12 people implicated in a multi-million dollar scrapping scam that involves dozens of counts of fraud and bribery to benefit the alleged mobster's employees.

He and his cohorts are facing a slew of charges, the least of which include money laundering and conspiracy; the worst include injecting race horses with banned substances (NOT THE HORSIES). Steroids, guns, computers, and $45,000 in cash have also been found at his Bentlyville residence and auto yards, sources say.

“You can take the boy out of Queens, but you can’t take the mob out of the boy,” a retired investigator told the NYPost about the Gambino crime family member.

Agnello's arrest comes as a result of an 18-month investigation, nicknamed "Operation Goodfella," which launched after police noticed a surge in stolen automobiles around town, many of which were never found. reports that authorities learned that Agnello was roping in neighborhood teens to do his dirty work, offering them up to $25 to steal cars. He'd then crush the vehicles, fill them with sand or concrete to make them heavier, and take them to scrapyards where he'd bribe and/or threaten employees to look the other way.

Authorities say there isn't evidence that Agnello was shuttling money to his NYC crime family, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Agnello made his way to the Buckeye state in 2008, after divorcing mob princess Victoria Gotti, serving a six year sentence for racketeering and tax evasion, and proving once again that he has a real thing for father-in-laws after marrying Danielle Vangar, the daughter of a known Armenian terrorist leader. 

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Janet Jackson Postpones Concert Tour Again, Cleveland Date Up in the Air

Concert Announcement

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 9:26 AM

  • Flickr user: J0 anna
Update: Welp.

Fans with tickets to the Janet Jackson show originally scheduled for Feb. 1 this year, and then rescheduled for August 28 this year, will have to keep waiting. Jackson announced on Twitter this morning that the second leg of her concert tour is being postponed. The reason?

"My husband and I are planning our family, so I'm going to have to delay the tour." 

No makeup date has been announced yet. Sounds like this could make its way into 2017.


(Updated 1/16/16): Janet Jackson announced yesterday a host of rescheduled dates for her tour that was sidelined by a medical issue. The original Cleveland tour date — Feb 2 — was canceled along with a slate of other shows.

The new date for Clevo town? August 28, which happens to be the very last date on her tour as it stands right now.

Here's the note she passed along to fans on her site:

“Hey you guys, I'm happy to let you know all the shows have been rescheduled. I can't wait to see you! Xoxo”

All tickets for the original date will be honored for the new date, so if you held on to your original tickets you are good to go for this new show." 


(Original story 7/13/15): Janet Jackson fanatics get hyped: The iconic Grammy award winning star recently announced a second North American leg to her Unbreakable World Tour and it includes a Cleveland stop.

Apparently, 39 shows just isn't enough for this lady’s die hard fans. By popular demand, the singer/dancer/diva will be making stops around the continent for an additional twenty-seven more shows just two months after her first leg ends. She's bringing the excitement to Cleveland on February 2, 2016 to Quicken Loans Area, and also to Columbus on February 1, 2016 at the Schottenstein Center.

Tickets to Unbreakable will be on sale starting Monday, July 20, at 10 a.m. Although, if Clevelanders happen to be American Express Card members, they can purchase tickets a few hours early, on July 19, at 10 p.m. on If that doesn’t seem early enough to snag seats, fans can pre-order the album, Unbreakable on and be eligible for pre-sale access to the best seats in your venue, and receive an instant download of the singer’s newest single, "No Sleeep." 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, November 13, 2015

Medical Examiner Rules Ralkina Jones Death Accidental

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 5:45 PM

Update: The Cuyahoga County medical examiner has officially ruled the death of Ralkina Jones accidental. The ME's report, released today says Jones died of sudden cardiac death "in association with postural tachycardia syndrome and obesity with amphetamine therapy," according to

In her system at the time of death, all legally and prescribed, were oxycodone, butalbital, alprazolam and zolpidem. Jones suffered from sleep apnea and the ME noted the sedatives she was taking could have created a complication with that condition.


Update (7/27/15): Cleveland Heights issued a technical report today on the six-hour or so gap in footage from cameras that captured Ralkina Jones on the night she died in the Cleveland Heights jail. 

Via BuzzFeed News:

The city of Cleveland Heights in Ohio says its jailhouse camera system failed to capture six hours of footage on the night that Ralkina Jones died in a cell because its “outdated” technology caused “glitches” in the recording.

According to technical reports released Thursday by the bedroom community east of central Cleveland, cameras filming the jail cells were set to only record when they detected motion. The investigation also found that the camera system’s memory was insufficient, even though it met industry standards when it was installed in 2008.


Update (7/27/2015): Ralkina Jones' prisoner medication log and the Cleveland Heights jail log offer conflicting records of how many times the 37-year-old woman was given her medication. The official jail log lists three times that Jones' medications were dispensed; her prisoner medication log lists two times in a 24-hour period.

Her medications included: atenolol (for blood pressure), gabapentin (anti-epileptic), escitalopram (anti-anxiety), sumatripitan (migraine), oxycodone (pain), and zolpidem (a sedative). 

It's unclear what official conclusions will be drawn from that discrepancy. Dr. Jeannie Lee, an associate pharmacy professor from the University of Arizona, told NBC News: "There are potential drug interactions that are present there, especially escitalopram and sumatriptan which is a migraine medication."

Jones was found dead in her jail cell on July 26, 2015.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office is still investigating.

Original story published July 27

Yesterday, the body of 37-year-old Ralkina Jones was discovered in a cell within Cleveland Heights' jail. The city's police department is investigating.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office responded on Sunday and is conducting its own analysis. 

No further details are publicly available at this point. The police department is expected to release additional facts on the case this afternoon.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: An official with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said via press release that "no suspicious injuries [have been] identified." The cause of death in this case has not yet been determined.


Tags: ,

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rock Hall to Honor Smokey Robinson at 20th Annual Music Masters (Updated)

Concert Announcement

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 11:12 AM

  • Courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Update: The Rock Hall has just announced the first batch of performers scheduled to appear at the tribute. Dennis Edwards, Martha Reeves and Mary Wilson — all of whom are Rock Hall inductees — will perform along with Grammy winner the Robert Glasper Experiment. Adam Blackstone, a guy who’s served as the Musical Director for top-flight acts like Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Maroon 5, Jay Z, Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake, will serve as the tribute concert’s Musical Director. “As an iconic songwriter, Smokey Robinson was a driving force that pushed America's legendary soul music label, Motown, towards greatness. I, and many of today's songwriters, continue to be influenced by his timeless lyrics and lush vocals that helped define ‘pop soul.’ I am honored to be a part of this special event with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum celebrating Mr. Robinson,” he says ina press release. Robison will attend the festivities but isn’t scheduled to perform.

Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The L.A. Band 'Talkback' That Shit All Over Cleveland Has Some More Things To Say

Music News

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:24 AM

  • Talkback: We eat Clevelanders for breakfast.
Update: In case you were wondering where L.A.-based trio Talkback gets its name, look no further than this post, recently published to the band's official Facebook page. Members and siblings Bri, Matt, and Justin Geraci, who originally hail from Cleveland, have a few things to say about Scene and our article which made the rounds on social media a few weeks back.

The USA... 5,000 miles top to bottom, side to side... Little scene magazine illegally posts a private email between two...

Posted by Talkback on Saturday, August 22, 2015

You're welcome.

Originally posted: July 31, 2015 at 3:27 p.m.

A Cleveland guitarist was recently invited to join the L.A.-based band Talkback, but decided to politely decline the offer. He awoke this morning to find this gem in his inbox:

Thanks for getting back to me. No worries and I wish you the best in the Cleveland music scene! It's funny because only in Cleveland do people pass up a pop project lol. Im in LA right now and I have multi million dollar film producers/directors doing a music video for me all for free bc that's how much they believe in my music. I've also had Lady Gaga's producer invest about $300,000.00 into my brothers and I in the last 3 years haha. I know money doesn't mean anything to people in Cleveland but it sure says a lot when some stranger I barely know is investing their own money from their pocket into my project. Almost every guy I've contacted about playing with me IN CLEVELAND has passed it up bc it's "not their scene". Who do you Cleveland musicians think u are? Slash? Haha.. It's just funny to me. I lived out in LA for 6 years and I am from Cleveland and it's amazing to me the attitudes and cockiness that Cleveland musicians have when it comes to "their genre". Cleveland needs to get over themselves and realize there is a million other markets out there. You guys think you are so open minded and "cool" But you guys are the most close minded fools I've ever met. It doesn't make you "cooler" bc you will only play metal and hard rock. It makes you stuck in Cleveland forever ending up playing at your local bar until your about 55 years old. But hey, whatever floats your boat:) It's harder to write a pop song then it is to write a metal song. U feel me? Im in LA right now and I think I may stay here forever bc I cannot stand the Cleveland music scene with all their rebellious "stand up for Cleveland music scene. Rock on" bullshit. Haha. Thanks anyways and take care
You too Matt Augusta... I've never even met you before but from your texts I can tell you are the most cocky dude in Cleveland -have fun playing the worst songs ever- Take care - oh - and thanks for referring me to another Cleveland rocker haha
Bri Geraci of Talkback 

Well, then.

For giggles, here's one of Talkback's music videos:

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Alliance Woman Who Called 911 to Report Bad Chinese Food Has Been Sentenced

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 2:05 PM

click image FLICKR CC, BRAD K.
  • Flickr CC, Brad K.
Update: Tracey McCloud has been sentenced to three days in jail, and was fined $250 for dialing 911 to report a medicore dining experience at a Chinese restaurant earlier this summer.

Sources close to Scene say she didn't care for the coffee at the police station either. -AN

Originally posted: July 7, 2015 at 11:42 a.m.

Last night, an Alliance woman thought her Chinese dinner was so bad it was criminal.

After settling in for an early dinner, 44-year-old Tracey McCloud dialed 911 around 4:30 p.m. to report her emergency: She didn’t enjoy her meal.

According to Alliance Police, McCloud called complaining from inside Main Moon Chinese restaurant that her food was “not to her liking." No word yet on what dish she felt was illegally terrible. 

Calling for emergency assistance for anything less than an emergency is against the law. The grumpy gal was charged with misuse of 911, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. She’ll appear in court on Friday to defend herself.

Of course, reaching out to 911 for anything other than a legitimate emergency is discouraged by police, even if your sweet and sour chicken sucked. 

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Driver in Gates Mills Crash That Left Two Hawken Seniors Dead Has Been Sentenced

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 8:17 AM

Update: Chapin Berk appeared in court yesterday and was sentenced to five years probation. His driver's license will be suspended for the duration of his sentence, and he faces a $1000 fine for each count of vehicular homicide. He must also donate $1000 to a charity of each crash victim's family’s choice and pay a $100 reasonable control fee.

Originally posted: July 14, 2015 at 3:19 p.m.

Two months after an automobile accident in Gates Mills that left two Hawken High School seniors dead and an entire community in mourning, charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle.

18-year-old Chapin Berk, who was driving a Jeep with three of his classmates on County Line Road on May 14 when he lost control of the vehicle and hit two trees, has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of operation without being in reasonable control. The charges are misdemeanors.

Alex Doody and Josh Weil, both 18 and star athletes at the east side prep school, died as a result of the accident. 

Berk is expected in the Lyndhurst Municipal Court on July 23.

Tags: , ,


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 29, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation