Two men charged with involvement in a Long Island piece of a mob conspiracy to secretly control garbage carting in the New York metropolitan area pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday to making threats, officials said.

Anthony Bazzini, 54, of Glen Head, and Scott Fappiano, 52, of Staten Island, were accused of being "silent partners" in a Ronkonkoma garbage hauling firm, extorting money in return for protection and using the firm to recruit customers in New Jersey.

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The charges were filed a year ago. Each defendant pleaded guilty Thursday to making threats against a cooperating witness, and faces up to five years in prison. Twenty-one of 32 defendants have pleaded guilty, according to the U.S. attorney.

Bazzini was identified as a made member of the Gambino family, and Fappiano as an associate. Fappiano, previously the defendant in a celebrated wrongful-conviction case, was exonerated in 2006 by DNA evidence after serving 21 years in state prison in a rape case.