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Port Elizabeth Longshoreman Removed from Waterfront for Associations with two Organized Crime Figures and False Testimony

January 18, 2022

Today, the Waterfront Commission unanimously revoked the registration of Farid Amado as a longshoreman. Amado had worked at APM Terminals in Port Elizabeth where he was responsible for moving and locking cargo containers. The Commission’s decision followed a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who found that Amado violated the Waterfront Commission Act (WCA) because of his association with two associates of “the Genovese Crime Family, which has historically controlled the New Jersey waterfront through ‘intimidation and fear.’”

First, the ALJ found that Amado had associated with and testified deceptively about Genovese associate Albert “The Bull” Cernadas, a former official of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) who was twice convicted of racketeering activities. Cernadas had been Executive Vice President of the ILA and President of ILA Local 1235. In 2006, Cernadas was convicted of a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud (he “admitted to steering union contracts to a pharmaceutical company with reputed mob ties”), resulting in his expulsion from the ILA. More recently, in 2015, Cernadas was convicted of a racketeering conspiracy in connection with his extortion of ILA members of their Christmastime bonuses. For the last conviction, Cernadas admitted to his “involvement in the Genovese family, including conspiring to compel tribute payments from ILA union members, who made the payments based on actual and threatened force, violence and fear.”

The ALJ noted that Amado’s association with Cernadas included a Facebook friendship that Amado initiated and continued as late as 2020; a 2015 visit with Cernadas at his home while he was on probation for racketeering; and a “deeply affectionate embrace” of Cernadas at a party in 2020 in which he told Cernadas “that he wished that he was still on the port.” The ALJ determined that, during his hearing, Amado “falsely denied knowledge of incriminating information concerning [Cernadas]’s Christmas bonus criminal charges” and provided “patently inconsistent testimony under oath” regarding his interaction with Cernadas at the party in 2020.

The ALJ also found that Amado had associated with Genovese associate Manuel Rodriguez (a/k/a Manny Rod and Manny Guitarbarr), a career offender who was convicted of the following racketeering activities: promoting gambling and aggravated assault (he fired a gun at the victim) in 1992; collection of credit by extortion (his victims included port workers) in 1999; and conspiracy to commit money laundering in 2019. The associations included “approximately six years of interactions on Facebook” that involved Amado “continuously expressing fawning love and devotion … with frequent public responses of approval from” Rodriguez. “Moreover, contrary to his repeated claims of being hardworking,” Amado “spent time at work using his phone to submit comments or post messages on Facebook, including some of the comments to [Rodriguez].” The relationship “was sufficiently personal and significant” that Rodriguez went to Amado’s “brother’s funeral to pay his respects.” During a sworn interview with the Commission, Amado falsely testified that he had “no clue” why Rodriguez went to prison. The ALJ concluded that Amado’s “categorical denial” of such knowledge “is simply incredible.”

The ALJ concluded that Amado “demonstrated a greater commitment to expressing affection or concern via social media to organized crime figures than to his job and the WCA.” The ALJ noted that the “in-person association with notorious organized crime figures makes the evidence of association here, when combined with the Facebook communications, compelling and irrefutable.” In addition, “the timing, frequency, and quality of the associations, when juxtaposed with the ups and downs of [Amado]’s career on the waterfront gives the impression that [Amado]’s association with [both organized crime figures] was related to their influence on the Waterfront.” In regard to “ups and downs” of Amado’s career, the ALJ referred to the following disciplinary history:

  1. In 2009-2010, Maher Terminals in Port Elizabeth temporarily barred Amado from employment as a longshoreman after concluding that he was verbally abusive toward labor supervisors;
  2. In 2011, Maher Terminals permanently terminated Amado’s employment after concluding that he yelled obscenities and made derogatory and racist remarks at longshoremen, had to be physically restrained from assaulting a longshoreman, and, through his reckless operation of a van at the port, caused five longshoremen to report personal injuries;
  3. In 2011-2012, the New York Shipping Association temporarily barred Amado from working at any terminals because of what happened at Maher Terminals in 2011; and
  4. Finally, Amado’s current employer, APM Terminals, in 2015, temporarily barred Amado from employment because he used threatening language towards a Senior Pier Superintendent.

The ALJ determined that the “offenses of association and fraud, occurring after a history of disciplinary action, demonstrate that Respondent’s continued registration as a longshoreman and presence on the waterfront constitute a danger to the public peace or safety.” The ALJ found that “[r]evocation of registration is an appropriate penalty against a longshoreman more devoted to social media and showing affection to organized crime figures than to his job with an income of over $250,000…. What can appear more corruptible than [Amado’s] effusive expressions of affection toward Genovese crime family associates who victimized the waterfront while he himself was employed on the docks with access to containers of cargo?”

Today, the Commission adopted the ALJ’s findings and ordered the immediate revocation of Amado’s registration as a longshoreman.

Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor