El Chapo is lying about prison life to plot an escape: prosecutors

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is only whining about his lack of earplugs and outdoor activity as an elaborate ruse to escape prison ahead of sentencing, according to a new court filing.

Guzman, 61, claimed earlier this month he’d been forced to shove toilet paper in his ears to mask the din of prison, and had nothing but an indoor exercise bike to maintain his physique.

Yet prosecutors say the convicted kingpin never bothered to ask the Bureau of Prisons for such luxuries, which would have been denied anyway due to his extreme security measures.

“In this case, any outdoor exercise time would be particularly problematic for this defendant,” the government writes Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan. “The defendant has successfully planned and executed elaborate escapes from two high-security penal institutions. As detailed at trial, one of the defendant’s escapes involved the construction of a sophisticated, ventilated tunnel that stretched for over a mile. Certainly, an escape via rooftop, using a helicopter, or any related means would be elementary by comparison.”

They even go so far as to cite a 1981 New York Times report about an attempted rooftop jailbreak at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, in which an inmate’s cohorts hijacked a helicopter and rammed it into the wiring atop the prison. The plot was foiled.

As for the earplugs, prosecutors say Guzman wouldn’t be given them anyway, as they’re restricted to prevent inmates from using them as a “ruse to ignore, or pretend not to hear, the guards’ orders.”

Regarding his request for more bottles of water to spare him from the moldy prison pipes, the filings say he is lying — and that prison records show he has been receiving six bottles weekly since April.

Guzman was convicted in February on various drug trafficking charges, and faces life behind bars when sentenced. Sentencing is scheduled for June 25.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman called the filing “hysterical.”

This article was originally posted here

The Iron Will Of Terrible Tom – AB Boss Did 35 Years In “Hole,” Dies As Mythic Prison Figure

Aryan Brotherhood leader Thomas (Terrible Tom) Silverstein, one of the most infamous men in the American prison system for the past four decades, died of a heart condition behind bars this month in Colorado at 67. Terrible Tom spent 35 straight years in solitary confinement after killing four people as a part of his role in the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.

Federal officials cite Silverstein as the impetus for creating the Supermax facility in Florence, Colorado, opened in the 1990s to house the worst of the worst inmates in the prison system. The feds didn’t move Terrible Tom to the Florence faculty until 2005.

Silverstein had surgery on his bad ticker in February and never recovered. He was originally jailed for a string of armed robberies that he pulled off with his dad and first cousin out of California in 1978. Incarcerated in Leavenworth, Kansas, the Irish Silverstein joined the Aryan Brotherhood and quickly ascended through the ranks, building a reputation for being violent and fearless.

Two years into his sentence, he allegedly killed fellow inmate Danny Atwell for refusing to act as a courier for Aryan Brotherhood drug deals. The following year in 1981, Silverstein strangled rival prison gang member Robert Chappelle to death in his cell at a high-security facility in Marion, Illinois. Chappelle was in the D.C. Blacks, an African-American prison gang with power on the East Coast and the Midwest.

Shortly after Chappelle’s slaying, D.C. Blacks boss Raymond (Cadillac Ray) Smith was transferred into the Marion facility and he and Silverstein circled each other for months until, Terrible Tom stabbed Smith to death. Silverstein and Aryan Brotherhood soldier Clayton Fountain plunged makeshift shanks into Smith 67 times and then took his dead body and dragged it around the cell block as a means of showing off their butchery.

In October 1983, Silverstein and Fountain carried out a coordinated double murder of two correctional officers at the Marion prison. Silverstein stabbed Merle Clutts to death and an hour later Fountain shanked Robert Hoffman. Terrible Tom and Clutts had been feuding over Silverstein’s belief that Clutts was harassing him.

Silverstein’s conviction for the Atwell murder would be overturned in 1985. Among the Aryan Brotherhood hierarchy, Terrible Tom is revered and admired, his legacy growing to practically mythic proportions as the decades went by and he remained in isolation.

Even though he was locked up 23 hours a day, Silverstein stayed busy. He blogged about prisoner’s rights and he was working on an autobiography. He filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons challenging the constitutionality of the conditions in which he was being held that he eventually lost in 2011 when U.S. District Court Judge Phillip Brimmer ruled again him and issued a 43-page opinion.

This article was originally posted here

Philly Mafia captain Anthony Staino released from prison

Philadelphia mafia captain Anthony Staino has been released from prison according to mafia insider Dave Schrawieser.

The 62-year-old mob capo was indicted in 2011 along with former acting mob boss Joseph Ligambi, underboss Joseph Massimino, capos Joseph Licata and George Borgesi, and mob soldier Damion Canalichio on various charges including racketeering. While Ligambi, Borgesi, and Licata would eventually beat the wrap Staino and the others weren’t so lucky. Staino was captured on a wiretap telling an FBI undercover agent that he was the crime family’s “CFO” before threatening over repayment of an outstanding 30k loan. The South Jersey captain had routinely made collections on behalf of Ligambi and the Philly mafia according to the feds. In 2013 he plead guilty to federal racketeering and extortion charges and admitted to holding the rank of captain in the Cosa Nostra family. He has been released after doing six years of his eight-year sentence.

Anthony Staino

“Anthony Staino”

Staino made his way through the ranks of the crime family rather quickly and was Ligambi’s right-hand man before the administration was taken down. The Ligambi led administration was holding down the fort running the family for then imprisoned boss Joey Merlino. After pleading guilty Staino said he was done with the mafia and it will be interesting to see if that holds true now that he is out. The landscape has changed since Anthony Staino went away but Ligambi still seems to be in play at least to some extent so if he wants back in there should still be a place for him somewhere within the organization.

Merlino is once again a guest of the government after pleading guilty to illegal gambling charges. According to reports Michael “Mikey Lance” Lancelotti is the families new street boss and sits atop a seemingly still functional hierarchy. Staino adds to the list of wiseguys that have made their way back to the streets over the last few years boosting the families ranks. Although it’s still unclear as to just how active some of these mobsters are today. Is there enough left on the street’s of Philly to keep all these guys profitable? Maybe!

This article was originally posted here

Police seek public’s help in solving fatal shooting in Brossard

The Sûreté du Québec will set up a mobile command post at the Quartier DIX30 on Thursday, hoping to gather information from the public.

The Sûreté du Québec is setting up a mobile command post at the Quartier DIX30 in Brossard at 9 a.m. Thursday and is asking anyone with information about May 10 shooting to come forward. Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette

The Sûreté du Québec will be in Brossard Thursday seeking the public’s help in trying to solve a brazen shooting it believes is linked to organized crime.

The provincial police force will set up a mobile command post at the Quartier DIX30 starting at 9 a.m. and is asking anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

On May 10, a man walked into a pizza restaurant at the shopping complex and opened fire, hitting 24-year-old Éric Francis De Souza at least once. De Souza later died in hospital.

Police recovered a firearm believed to have been used in the shooting on a nearby restaurant terrace. Investigators also think a burnt-out car found in a nearby field was linked to the crime.

The investigation was transferred to the Sûreté du Québec since investigators believe the shooting is tied to organized crime.

It was the second time in a week that an individual was fatally wounded in a public setting.

The previous Saturday night in Laval, Salvatore Scoppa, 49, who has been linked to the Montreal Mafia, was shot dead in a hotel next to Highway 15. No one has been arrested in connection with Scoppa’s death.


This article was originally posted here

Taste Of Freedom: Capo In Philly Mafia Sprung From Federal Prison

Philadelphia mob captain Anthony Staino was released early from prison this month after serving six years of an eight-year sentence courtesy of a federal racketeering conviction. Award-winning investigative reporter and Bruno-Scarfo crime family insider Dave Schrawieser broke the news of Staino’s return home to New Jersey on his social media accounts Tuesday.

The 62-year old Staino is a crew chief in the South Jersey faction of the family and was the right-hand man to longtime acting boss Joseph (Uncle Joe) Ligambi before going to prison in February 2013. He was caught on an FBI wire bragging to an undercover agent of being the family’s “CFO” and threatening to hurt him if he didn’t pay back the $30,000 loan he had taken out.

Where Staino fits in as a player in the current cluttered Philly mob landscape remains unclear. Attaching his trailer to Ligambi’s rising star in the late 1990s, Staino maneuvered up the family’s ladder fast, going from associate to made man to capo to de-facto No. 2 in charge in a matter of two years.

Staino and Ligambi were indicted together in 2011 for bookmaking, extortion and loan sharking, but Ligambi, 79, beat the case at a pair of trials. The two mob leaders co-owned a video-poker machine business with Ligambi’s underboss Joe (Mousie) Massimino, indicted, convicted and incarcerated for racketeering in the years leading up to the Ligambi-Staino bust. The triumvirate were looking after the shop for then jailed mafia don Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino. Uncle Joe Ligambi is back manning the store for Merlino, who is once again away as a guest of the federal government for gambling offenses committed in Florida.

Staino’s uncle is retired Philly mob figure Ralph (Junior) Staino, a soldier during the family’s “Little Nicky Scarfo era,” and famous for his romance with showgirl-turned-club owner Lillian (Tiger ‘Lil) Reis. Junior Staino came up on the streets of Philly as a member of the mostly Irish K&A Gang prior to being inducted into the city’s Italian mafia by Scarfo in the early 1980s.

This article was originally posted here

New York Mafia News 2019: Who’s up, Who’s down, Who’s the strongest

As we reach the halfway point of 2019 we stop to take a closer look at the current status of the various New York Mafia families.

There has been no shortage of New York mafia news to report so far this year having to do with all of the Five families and more. While the Mafia as a whole isn’t the force it once was it remains a viable criminal enterprise worth millions and the NY Mafia still leads the way. The mob has always found a way to adapt and survive and over the last year in New York may actually be back on the rise at least to an extent. While we await more breaking New York Mafia news we stop to take a look at how each of the families has fared of late and debate about who’s currently the strongest. This year we will also include a bit of a twist tossing the hotly debated Buffalo Mafia family into the mix!

New York Mafia News

Some of the New York Mob families have benefited from recent events while others may have taken a step back. A decreased presence from law enforcement whos main focus over the last several years has been terrorism has given the Cosa Nostra families a small window to stabilize and even rebuild somewhat. Some families have benefited more than others behind new administrations and 2019 mafia leaders. But as the times continue to change the mafia in New York will have to continue to find ways to survive although they certainly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So let’s take on each of the families one by one to see Who’s up, Who’s down, Who’s the strongest…

Genovese Crime Family: The Ivy League of Organized Crime is a phrase we still hear tossed around when talking about the Genovese family. They have done a better job than most at keeping the identities of their current administration a mystery. There were reports back in 2016 that Liborio “Barney” Bellomo has taken the reigns and was new boss which seems to be the case.

They are still one of the largest crime families in Gotham in terms of numbers although there is some moderate debate as to whether or not that makes them the strongest. They have made more headlines in the year or so than in the past although they have seemingly been able to avoid any major blows to the hierarchy. They have taken hits to their crews in both New Jersey and Springfield of late and had some recent unwanted exposure from a case that included Vincent Esposito the son of former boss Vincent (The Chin) Gigante.

It showed the family may still have ties to lucrative union rackets and that they continue to have a presence both inside and outside of the Big Apple. With a veteran wiseguy like 62-year-old Bellomo calling the shots the family is in good hands and probably still leads the way in NY.

Gambino Crime Family: The Gambino’s have had their share of bumps and bruises of late including the murder of Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali. The infamous Cosa Nostra family has been on the rise again in recent years behind the leadership of their influential Sicilian faction. They rank only behind the Genovese family in terms of made guys and associates and has certainly put themselves into the conversation when it comes to the strongest of the NY families today. But Cali who was gunned down in front of his home in what doesn’t seem to be a mafia related event was a huge loss.

He was highly respected locally and his influence extended outside of New York due to his family ties to mobsters in Sicily. His low key approach and old school attitude had turned him into one of the families biggest earners and strongest voices. It’s still unclear as to what rank he held in the families hierarchy at the time of his death but he was likely in control of the families day to day operations behind alleged boss Domenico “Italian Dom” Cefalu.

The family moved quickly to fill the void adding veteran mobsters Lorenzo Mannino and Michael Paradiso to its new administration. It will be interesting to see if the loss of Cali has any short or long term effects on the family. While the Sicilian faction remains strong within the family behind Cefalu and Mannino the winds of change can turn quickly when it comes to the mafia especially when the opportunity presents itself. We will definitely be keeping a close eye and seeing whether or not the Gambino’s can avoid turmoil and maintain their recent momentum.

Bonanno Crime Family: It’s never really a dull year when it comes to covering New York’s Bonanno family. The families current acting boss Joseph Cammarano Jr and consigliere John Zancocchio recently beat the feds getting acquitted of racketeering and conspiracy to commit extortion charges. Plus charges were filed earlier this year after a joint US-Canadian operation exposed potential links between the Bonanno family and the mafia in Canada. An acting Bonanno capo named Damiano Zummo was caught on tape presiding over a 2015 NY Mafia induction ceremony that took place in Canada.

It remains unclear as to exactly what the current relationship is between the Bonanno’s and Canadian mob families but the Bonanno family name has been linked to the current unrest in both Montreal and Hamilton. It seems like a stretch that the Bonanno’s would still have any real influence across the border but the historical ties are there and if nothing else it’s an interesting new twist into the Bonanno families current drama.

This year also marks the return of Michael Mancuso the alleged official boss of the family. He has been behind bars since 2008 and it will be interesting to see how his return affects the current Bonanno family administration. The Bonanno’s will definitely be one of the families we keep a close eye on moving forward. More Bonano family unrest wouldn’t be out of character for this dysfunctional group but it would be big New York Mafia News.

Lucchese Crime Family: With long-time leaders Matthew Madonna and Steven Crea still awaiting trial the beleaguered crime family has been keeping a fairly low profile of late. The landmark 2017 case took down three members of the families hierarchy and multiple captains bring to a halt what was a fairly good run. According to the feds and some reports, imprisoned mobster Vittorio “Vic” Amuso is still the official boss of the family.

It remains unclear as to who has stepped up to fill the current power void but Anthony Santorelli, Joseph “Joey” Giampa, James “Froggy” Galione, and Joseph “Joe C.” Caridi is some names that have surfaced of late and may be in play. Whoever is put in place within the new administration whether it be in an acting or official capacity certainly has some work to do after losing more proven veterans from the ranks.

It’s never a good spot to be when you are teetering on possibly falling behind the Bonanno’s when it comes to stability. Although there still seems to be some talent left in the pool for the Lucchese’s so the potential to make it past a rough patch remains. If the feds are successful in getting convictions against all of the administration members in the upcoming trials then it seems clear a new era of sorts may be upcoming for the Lucchese family.

Colombo Crime Family: The Colombo’s have long been the runt of the litter when it comes to the Five Families of New York. Yet they have always been one of the more interesting ones. The death of longtime boss Carmine Persico signals the end of an era for the crime family although Persico family members and loyalist remain throughout the family. The Snake may be dead and gone but it may take the Colombo’s a few more years to break free from the Persico family grip.

Who’s next up to take over as boss of the Colombo’s is still unclear although there are some seemingly capable wiseguys in the mix. Some of the names that have surfaced since Carmine’s passing include Andrew “Andy Mush” Russo, Ralph Lombardo, William Russo, and Theodore “Teddy Boy” Persico, Jr. The feds still consider Carmine’s son Alphonse “Little Allie Boy” Persico to be the families official acting boss although with him behind bars for life and his father gone it’s unclear as to how much input and influence he can maintain.

There will definitely be some watchful eyes on the Colombo family in the months to come to see who takes the reigns. It could very well be a sign as to whether or not the Persico’s families dominance is ending with the death or the longtime godfather which would certainly grab headlines and be big New York Mafia news. While the family remains profitable and still controls a share of viable mob rackets it hasn’t been able to benefit as much as some of the other families have over the last few years in form of growth and expansion from the downturn in law enforcement scrutiny.

Buffalo Mafia: The status of the Buffalo mafia family also known as the Todaro crime family has been a hot topic of debate recently. There have certainly been some interesting developments recently surrounding the family including the recording of Hamilton mobster Domenico Violi claiming to be the families new underboss. According to court documents he was hand-picked for the job by alleged Buffalo mob boss Joseph Todaro Jr. after a meeting in Florida back in October of 2017. In those documents was also a reference to the Luppino-Violi crime family.

This has sparked renewed interests and even led to new theories that the Buffalo mafia may still be active and functioning. When commenting on the state of the Buffalo Mob in 2017 the FBI field office said scattered remnants that are no longer believed to be active or organized remain. The Cosa Nostra family was considered to be defunct and all but dead. But recent arrest of alleged members of the Todaro family in Canada and the Violi wiretap recordings seem to bring those assessments into question.

There have been rumors of their increased influence across the border and alleged links to their involvement in the ongoing Hamilton mafia war. While there is no corroborating evidence to support any of these claims the debate over them is alive and well. Is it possible that the mafia in Buffalo is not only active but still powerful enough to be involved in Canada? It seems like a bit of a stretch that in this day and age a crime family of that capacity could stay off the Fed’s radar. But even those who remain skeptical seem to be keeping an eye out just in case. It would be some of the biggest 2019 New York Mafia News!

So where do you rank each of the New York Mafia families as of today? Please feel free to comment below and let us know what you think. We will, of course, be bringing you the latest in New York Mafia News and more as the year continues!

This article was originally posted here

Reputed Detroit Drug Boss, “World Domination” Crew Founder, Once Viewed As Top Suspect In GF’s Slaying

Police in suburban Detroit first had convicted drug dealer Jimmy Lattner as the prime suspect in the 2017 murder of his girlfriend, Julii Johnson, before eventually charging Lattner’s ex-girlfriend and two others, per sources, in a case that will finally make it in front of a jury this week in Macomb County Circuit Court. Lattner is out on bail awaiting a trial of his own on a weapon-possession case stemming from the investigation into Johnson’s slaying.

The Johnson case is rife with compelling, often vexing and intricate subplots, regarding the crime itself, the alleged players involved and the way it’s been adjudicated through the court system. The case is on its second judge and the start of the trial has been postponed four times in the last 16 months.

Johnson, 34, was gunned down on the morning of January 13, 2017 outside Lattner’s condominium in Warren, Michigan. Marci Griffin, Lattner’s ex-girlfriend, George (G.G.) Rider and Eric Gibson are facing first-degree homicide charges in the case. Griffin was feuding with Lattner and Johnson over Johnson’s treatment of Griffin and Lattner’s child.

Gibson’s DNA is on the murder weapon and prosecutors believe Rider acted as a middleman for Griffin in hiring Gibson to kill Johnson. Rider, a folk hero of sorts on the streets of Detroit’s Eastside who served a prison stint for federal narcotic trafficking in the 1990s, has been in the government’s crosshairs for years.

After his release from prison in 2003, Rider built a robust real estate portfolio while the FBI hounded his every move trying to build cases against him. In 2015, he sold the historic Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Detroit for 1.3 million dollars. The feds have long tried linking him to a murder that occurred at the theatre in 2007 to no avail.

The 44-year old Lattner once led what was known as the World Domination Gang, a drug crew operating out of Detroit’s near Westside in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He did six years in prison for peddling cocaine and heroin and got out in 2010. His behavior in the aftermath of Johnson’s murder brought scrutiny. An eye-witness account of Johnson’s killer and results of a police-dog scent test drove detectives further towards pegging him as a suspect.

By February, however, they had moved their attention away from Lattner, eliminating him as a suspect and focused the investigation on the current set of co-defendants. There is video of Griffin screaming at and threatening Lattner at Lattner’s car wash in the months before Johnson was slain and texts between Griffin and a cell phone registered to a company owned by Rider expressing her anger towards Lattner and Johnson.

The only evidence connecting the 60-year old Rider and the 26-year old Gibson are “pings” from cell phone towers in the Metro Detroit area placing them in the same vicinity on the day Johnson was murdered. Nonetheless, Rider, Griffin and Gibson were indicted together on February 24, 2017 and have been held without bail ever since.

Lattner’s defiant posture towards investigators had them eying him with suspicion from the morning Johnson was found lying clinging to life outside his condo. When Warren Police arrived on the scene, Lattner was emotionally distraught, screaming at someone on his cell phone and cursing at the responding officers. He refused to answer any questions, a pattern that has continued to this very day, even in the face of time behind bars.

A neighbor’s description of how the shooter was dressed matched Lattner’s appearance that morning (gray-colored jacket over a hooded sweatshirt). The neighbor would later say she thought the assailant was younger than Lattner, but admitted that the shooter “could have looked like him (Lattner) from the back.” A police dog from the K-9 unit traced the shooter’s scent on a “back track” motion that went away from property and then returned in the direction of Lattner’s condo.

The police got search warrants for the condo and the Ford F-150 pickup truck in the driveway. Inside the condo, police found $533,000 in cash. Inside the vehicle, they uncovered a gun (9 millimeter Ruger) with the serial number filed off, a bag of marijuana and another $12,000 in cash. The truck was equipped with custom-designed hidden compartments, normally a common accessory for people in the drug game to travel with concealed contraband. The money and the truck were seized.

Lattner pleaded the Fifth Amendment when called to answer questions about Johnson’s murder at a pretrial evidentiary hearing and was jailed for contempt. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. He’s been on “lifetime probation” since 1997.

Authorities were at first hot on the idea that either Lattner had something to do with Johnson’s killing or an enemy of his in the drug world was, sources claim. Upon a possible tie-in to Rider emerging, federal prosecutors, per sources, pressed police in Macomb County to refocus the investigation towards the “Marci Griffin angle.”

This article was originally posted here

Needle In A Haystack: Chi-Town Mafia Boss Escaped Murder Beef In ’95

Reputed Chicago mob street boss Albert (Albie the Falcon) Vena was found not guilty of murdering low-ranking Northside crew member Sam (Needles) Taglia at an April 1995 bench trial in Cook County Circuit Court in front of Judge James Flannery, Jr. That’s one homicide he no longer has to worry about. On the other hand, there are a number of others he does still have potentially hanging over his head. The vertically-challenged fireplug of a 70-year old mafia chief is being investigated for his role in several unsolved gangland slayings as part of an ongoing federal probe of Outfit activities mainly surrounding the crime family’s fabled Grand Avenue and Cicero factions, according to sources in law enforcement. Taglia, a drug-addled repeat felon, was found shot to death with his throat slashed in the trunk of his late-model Buick in Melrose Park on November 4, 1992. He had reportedly burned Vena in a cocaine deal, failing to deliver the narcotics after money was fronted to him. Vena took the reins on the Windy City’s Westside and became capo of the Grand Avenue crew in around 2007. The bump up to street boss came around five years ago, per sources. Some people dub him the most feared man in Chicago. Like Taglia, Vena had been part of the Outfit’s Northside regime. The Northside crew got consolidated into the Grand Avenue gang in the late 1990s in the years following Vena’s acquittal in the Taglia case. The Grand Avenue crew is historic in Chicago underworld circles for being ruthless and vindictive and has always housed valued enforcement units. In other words, Vena fit right in and rose quickly. The legend of “The Falcon” began on the Northside though. As a skilled collector for mob figures Gus (Slim) Alex and Lenny Patrick, Vena’s duties took him from Alex’s stomping grounds of The Loop, the city’s downtown business and financial district, to Patrick’s turf further north in Rogers Park where he lorded over a sprawling consortium of Jewish bookies and loan sharks. His reputation for viciousness was cemented in 1973 when he traveled to Florida to muscle a guy out of $35,000 by kidnapping him, beating and torturing him until he gave up the cash. Upon police in Chicago coming to apprehend Vena for Taglia’s slaying on Christmas Eve 1992, he tried to run over one of the arresting officers with his car. River Forest Apartment building on N. 13th Ave Record of robbery, drug offenses High, taken to girlfriend’s Melrose Park residence, left with Albie Buick front seat

This article was originally posted here

Mob lawyer-turned-rat is sentenced to time served — 3 days

A former mob lawyer who turned canary against Bonanno crime-family boss Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano was sentenced Friday to time served — three days — by the same judge Basciano once tried to have killed.

Defendant Thomas Lee cried and hugged his attorney after Brooklyn federal court Justice Nicholas Garaufis handed down the sentence.

“Good luck, and have a good life,” Garaufis told Lee, nearly 14 years after the defendant took the stand against Basciano to finger him for racketeering, including acts of murder, murder conspiracy, and solicitation of murder.

Lee admitted to abusing his power as a lawyer to pass messages from acting boss Basciano to the family’s incarcerated official head, Joseph Massino, in 2004 regarding a murder plot.

“I don’t blame my upbringing, I don’t blame my neighborhood, I don’t blame my father’s drug addiction,” Lee told the court Friday, referencing his mob-tinged childhood in The Bronx. “The most important thing is that I’ve broken the cycle.

“The self-inflicted wounds are the worst,” the 51-year-old said. “And the difficulty is, the story I injected myself into is folk, it’s created.”

Lee spent three days in jail, just long enough to be arraigned, in 2005 before being set free on $2 million bond and heading straight into the federal Witness Protection Program, where he remains.

While he had faced between 121 to 151 months behind bars following his guilty plea to a charge of racketeering, prosecutors went to bat for him in a letter to Garaufis, given his testimony at multiple trials.

The judge Friday thanked prosecutor Amy Busa for the submission, which he described as “all these many years later, bringing back these memories I had hoped to forget.”

Garaufis was named on a 2006 hand-written hit-list Basciano passed off behind bars while he was awaiting retrial, after a jury deadlocked on his first trial.

Basciano was eventually convicted on racketeering charges, including acts of murder and murder conspiracy, and is serving life in prison.

Lee declined to comment through his lawyer, Joel Cohen, though the attorney lauded the sentence.

“I think he earned the sentence he got,” Cohen said.

This article was originally posted here

Unsolved Chicago Mob Porn Racket Murder From ’80s Gets New Look In Grand Ave. Probe, Sources Claim

According to sources, the 1985 murder of Chicago mobster and porn king Patrick (Patsy Rich) Ricciardi is one of the many cold-case gangland hits being probed in an ongoing federal racketeering investigation of current Outfit leaders. The inquiry’s principle target is alleged to be reputed Grand Avenue crew chief and overall street boss Albert (Albie the Falcon) Vena. Upwards of a dozen unsolved mob homicides are getting a fresh set of eyes, per sources Patsy Ricciardi, 59, was found shot twice in the back of the head in the trunk of a stolen car on the outskirts of Lincoln Park on July 26, 1985. He headed a large portion of the Chicago mafia’s pornography racket. Ricciardi and Albie Vena were both members of the Outfit’s now-shuttered Northside crew in the 1980s. The Northside crew merged with the Grand Avenue regime, sometimes called the Westside crew, approximately two decades ago. The man they called Patsy Rich never made it to the merger. He was slain for being a suspected informant. And maybe some other reasons, like a longstanding feud within the crime family over porn and the illicit sex trade. For years, the Northsiders and Westsiders fought for dominance in the Windy City pornography racket. The Grand Avenue gang planted a flag in the near Northside neighborhood of Old Town in the late 1960s. Repeated attempts by Northside soldiers to get a foothold in the area brought brewing tensions. Ricciardi’s slaying was one of three high-profile gangland hits in less than ten years connected to beefs in the Chicago porn business. Vena, 70, came up through the ranks of the Outfit as a ruthless enforcer for legendary Northside shot-callers like Lenny Patrick, Gus (Slim) Alex and Vincent (Innocent Vince) Solano. He beat a murder rap at trial in 1995, but remains a suspect in several high-profile Chicago gangland slayings. Ricciardi’s cousin was notorious mob killer and one-time Chicago mafia don Felix (Milwaukee Phil) Alderisio. In 1971, Ricciardi bought the Admiral Theatre on Lawrence Avenue in the Albany Park section of the Northside and turned it into a porn palace. Per FBI records, he ran sports book and juice loan operations out of the Admiral, too. By the 1980s, the Admiral transitioned to a strip club. Ricciardi and the Chicago mob porn racket was the subject of two grand juries, first in 1979 and then again in the mid-1980s. In the months before he was killed, indictments were filed against mob-affiliated figures in the pornography industry out of Illinois, Ohio and Michigan for tax fraud. His absence from the indictment allegedly raised some eyebrows within the Outfit and rumors began circulating that Patsy Rich was a snitch. On the afternoon of July 24, 1985, Ricciardi took a cab from his office at the Admiral Theatre to a meeting he had at a bar on Webster and Halsted and never returned. Two days later, he popped up dead in the trunk of a boosted Oldsmobile near a viaduct under some elevated train tracks at Webster and Ashland. His killers had taken his shoes and $1,000 in cash out of his wallet.

This article was originally posted here