Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Feds bust Bonanno crime family leadership in devastating takedown

The acting boss of the Bonanno crime family and other top-echelon leaders were among 10 mobsters busted Friday on racketeering charges, the Daily News has learned.
A 16-page federal indictment charged leader Joseph "Joe C" Cammarano Jr. and the rest with a variety of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, extortion and drug dealing.
Charged along with Cammarano were Bonanno consiglieres John "Porky" Zancochio and Simone Esposito, as well as capos Joseph "Joe Valet" Sabella and George "Grumpy" Tropiano.
The Bonanno family also “met with leaders, members and associates of other La Cosa Nostra Families to resolve disputes over their criminal activities,” the indictment said.
And paranoid family members and associates tried to ferret out possible informants within their ranks — a major concern for the Bonannos.
The mob family was famously infiltrated for six years by FBI agent Joe Pistone, and its boss Joseph "Big Joey" Massino flipped after a 2003 arrest to become the highest-ranking Mafia turncoat ever.
Cammarano, the son of a mob underboss who died in prison, reportedly took over in 2015 as the decimated family tried to rebuild itself.
The Brooklyn native is a Navy veteran who served on a nuclear submarine in an elite patrol unit.
The Manhattan Federal Court indictment comes just two days after five accused Genovese family mobsters — including late boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante's son, Vincent Esposito — were nabbed on racketeering charges.
In the Friday court filing, Bonanno soldier Albert "Al Muscles" Armetta was charged with beating an unidentified victim on Halloween 2015 “for the purpose of gaining entrance to” the crime family.
The 10th defendant was identified as Eugene "Boobsie" Castelle, a Lucchese family soldier who teamed with the Bonannos on “one or more criminal schemes,” the indictment charged.


Flashy Philadelphia mob boss Skinny Joey Merlino is hospitalized

After 25 assassination attempts on him and more than a decade behind bars, the hard life may finally be catching up to reputed Mafia boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino.
A Manhattan federal judge has agreed to postpone the alleged mobster’s racketeering trial here for a week because Merlino, 55, had to be hospitalized in a Florida hospital earlier this week for two heart blockages.
The tough guy was suffering from chest pains, shortness of breath and spasms, his lawyer said. The hospital performed a catheterization on him.
Merlino was supposed to head to trial here next Tuesday, but the case has now been put off till Jan. 22.
Merlino has been free on $5 million bond and living in Boca.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Lawyer for imprisoned former Bonanno boss Vinny Gorgeous alleges improprieties by two federal judges

A lawyer for the Bonanno crime family’s imprisoned ex-boss is throwing the book at a pair of federal judges.
Mobster Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano’s murder and racketeering convictions deserve another look because of a conflict of interest between the jurists and a Connecticut law professor-turned-author, the boss’ lawyer claims.
“The fact that Mr. Basciano is an alleged ‘Mafioso’ doesn’t mean that the courts get to play fast and loose with the law and its duty to remain impartial,” charged defense attorney Anthony DiPietro.
The lawyer asserted in court papers that U.S. District Court of Appeals Judge Reena Raggi and Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis provided special treatment to writer Leonard Orland.
The author, while covering Basciano’s death penalty case for his 2015 book “Capital Punishment Trials of Mafia Murderers, engaged in “off-the-record contact” with both judges.
DePietro argues the judges should have avoided a book “detrimental to (Basciano) and his case generally, as explicitly evidenced by its title labeling him a ‘Mafia Murderer.’”
Orland instead dedicated his 304-page effort to the helpful judges. Photos of Raggi and Garaufis appeared above the Biblical passage “Justice, justice shall you pursue.”
Raggi was part of a three-judge panel that ruled against the gangster this past Nov. 28. And Garaufis presided over Basciano’s 2011 death penalty trial while assisting Orland.
Basciano, 58, is serving a life sentence after his convictions for racketeering and a pair of mob killings. The former owner of the Hello Gorgeous hair salon remains locked up at the high security Big Sandy prison in Inez, Ky.
The lawyer asserted in court papers that Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis provided special treatment to writer Leonard Orland.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals turned down DiPietro’s appeal last month in a terse decision: “It is hereby ordered, that the motion is denied.”
But the lawyer said he intended to push for a Supreme Court review of the ruling and seek other avenues to press the conflict issue.
“The judges’ working alliance with (Orland) ... and their support of a publication that is inherently antagonistic to petitioner and his quest to overturn his conviction ... presents an appearance of impropriety,” wrote DiPietro in his appeal.
“Mr. Orland explains that he engaged in with both judges ... and that they provided information and assistance,” the attorney continued.
The book dealt specifically with the Basciano trial and the earlier death penalty case involving Bonanno family hitman Thomas “Tommy Karate” Pitera.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn had no comment on the legal efforts to overturn the convictions.
In 2012, the court of appeals rejected Basciano’s appeal for the shotgun murder of Frank Santoro on a Bronx street. He was also convicted for orchestrating the 2004 murder of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo.
The mob boss had previously alleged that Garaufis was biased against him because the gangster was charged with plotting to kill the judge.


Feds find secret list of made members in home of son of infamous Genovese boss

Looks like a son of infamous crime boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante ​is following in the shambling footsteps of his late dad.
Vincent Esposito, 50, was identified by prosecutors ​Wednesday ​as “a person of influence” in the Genovese crime family once headed by his father, who was dubbed the “Oddfather” for wandering around Greenwich Village in pajamas, a bathrobe and slippers.
Esposito and four other reputed Genovese mobsters ​were charged in a long-running racketeering scheme that the feds say involves “multiple acts” of extortion and other crimes between 2001 and 2017.
Esposito and t​w​o co-defendants — Steven Arena and Vincent D’Acunto Jr. -— were specifically accused of extorting annual payments from a union official between 2001 and 2015.
The men threatened “force and violence” to make the victim cough up cash so he could keep his position, according to a Manhattan federal court indictment.
Authorities found two unlicensed guns, a set of brass knuckles ​and ​more than $1 million cash inside the $12 million E. 77th St. townhouse Esposito owns with his mom and two sisters, p​​rosecutor Jared Lenow said.
​But the feds also found a real mafia no-no in his basement, what old-time wiseguys might have called an “infamnia” — a​n actual​ list of “made members of La Cosa Nostra​,​” ​the prosecutor said. ​
The dumb-fella move harks back to the hand-written, two-page list of mobsters kept by fellow mob scion John “Junior” Gotti, who carefully recorded how much cash each one gave him at his lavish 1990 wedding.
Those ledger pages were introduced by the feds ahead of Gotti’s 1999 sentencing to 77 months for crimes including bribery, extortion, gambling and fraud.
The feds also have about six months​’​ ​worth ​of wiretap evidence and a cooperating witness who’s “very close with the defendant, who’s part of his family who will be expected to testify against him at trial,” Lenow said.
Lenow didn’t specify Esposito’s rank in the Genovese family, but said “money was kicked up to him,” with “at least several layers of lower-level workers” beneath the mob scion.
The government’s secret recordings also reveal “numerous references to his high-level position” and “people doing his bidding,” the prosecutor said.
Esposito is one of three children Gigante fathered with his longtime mistress, Olympia Esposito, to whose home he routinely would be driven following his sleepwear strolls downtown.
The feds claimed Gigante’s wacky behavior was an act intended to bolster claims of mental illness and shield him from prosecution for running one of the Mafia’s “Five Families.”
But he was convicted of murder conspiracy in 1997 for scheming to kill other gangsters, and died in 2005 while serving a 12-year sentence in the federal lock-up in Springfield, Mo.
Esposito was ordered held on $6 million bond, with release conditions including electronically monitored house arrest.
Defense lawyer Flora Edwards, who argued that Esposito shouldn’t be locked up “because of his paternity,” declined to comment outside court.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Feds bust Genovese mobsters for shaking down unions

Like Oddfather, like son.
Vincent Esposito, 50, the child of late Genovese family boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante, was one of five mob associates busted for a long-running shakedown of local unions, according to a new federal indictment.
Court papers accused the mobbed-up quintet with extortion and accepting illegal kickbacks, while using “threats of economic harm and potential physical violence” to keep the illegal cash flowing.
Arrested along with Esposito were Steven Arena, 60; Frank Giovinco, 50; Frank Cognetta, 42, and Vincent D’Acunto Jr., 49.
Esposito, who faces 40 years in prison, entered a Wednesday plea of not guilty in Manhattan Federal Court.
He is one of Gigante’s three children with long-time mistress Olympia Esposito, who shared her pricey Upper East Side townhouse part-time with the mob boss.
Gigante was dubbed the “Oddfather” for his long-running “crazy act,” where he feigned mental illness to avoid prosecution for years. The dodge worked until a 1997 racketeering conviction, and Gigante died behind bars in 2005.
The current conspiracy dated to at least 2001 and ran through October 2017, with Esposito, Arena and D’Acunto squeezing a labor union official for annual cash payments to keep his job.
Threats of physical violence compelled the union big-wig to cough up the yearly tribute, according to the indictment.
Cognetta, an official with Local 1-D of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, was charged with soliciting and accepting bribes and directing union benefit plans in specific investment in return for kickbacks.
Cognetta, charged with racketeering conspiracy, along with honest services fraud and bribery, faces up to 126 years in prison, officials said.
Esposito, Arena and D’Acunto were all charged with racketeering conspiracy and extortion conspiracy, and face up to 40 years in prison.
Giovinco was charged with a single county of racketeering conspiracy and faces 20 years in prison.
Esposito became the second of Chin’s sons to land on the wrong side of the law.
Andrew Gigante followed his father into the crime family, and was sentenced in July 2003 to two years in prison for extortion on the New York/New Jersey waterfront.
He also paid a $2 million fine as part of his plea deal.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Bonanno rat hopes story of FBI betrayal appeals to new jury

Joe Barone closes his eyes in a bedroom far from home and falls into a dream.
The dark-haired ex-FBI informant sits inside an Italian restaurant, surrounded by pals from the Bonanno crime family. Someone asks Barone to sing a song, like he did in the old days.
It feels good. Until it all goes bad.
“The next part of the dream, a guy — I think his name is Anthony — is shutting all the doors,” the mob expatriate recounts. “And he says ‘Oh, they found out you’re here, Joey. There’s lines out the door, waiting to kill you.’”
Life isn’t much better for Barone, 56, when his eyes are open.
The second-generation gangster is still waging the city’s longest-running mob war, a legal battle with the FBI that enters its ninth frustrating year this month.
“I feel like that movie, ‘The Never Ending Story,’” says Barone, his accent pure New York despite a move to a safer, undisclosed location.
“It’s all this legal mumbo-jumbo,” he continues. “I try to put up a good face, to be tough and strong. But it’s hard. I’m one man against the federal government.”
The latest legal skirmish brings lawyers for the government and Barone before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Jan. 24 oral arguments.
Barone is suing the FBI and his old handlers, accusing the feds of throwing him to the wolves after his Jan. 9, 2009, arrest in a $1 million murder-for-hire plot.
The plaintiff, who spent 18 hazardous years as a confidential informant, hopes for a ruling that would lead to a trial. Government lawyers will argue for a dismissal, alleging Barone went rogue on the FBI.
Barone's trial on the cover of the Daily News 
Barone maintains his role in the proposed slaying was all in a day’s undercover work. A Manhattan federal jury agreed, acquitting him after two days of deliberations in July 2010.
He now seeks unspecified civil damages, accusing the feds of withholding “key exculpatory evidence,” outing him as an informant and inflicting emotional distress.
The fight has already cost the man known as “JB” more than $400,000 in legal fees, his suburban Westchester County home, $86,000 pilfered by a since-disbarred lawyer — and his marriage.
“I’ve been floating around now for almost eight years — in hiding, living where I’m living, divorced,” the former Bonnano associate told the Daily News.
Barone’s new world is a deadly no-made man’s land — spurned by his old FBI pals, and fearful of lethal mob payback. He’s sadly familiar with the latter process.
It was back in 1991 when Barone, reeling from the Genovese family’s murder of his mobbed-up dad, flipped and joined the feds.
There’s little dispute about his effectiveness as an FBI mole. His undercover work lasted three times as long as the six-year mob stint by renowned FBI agent Joe “Donnie Brasco” Pistone .
A December 2005 FBI document praised Barone for his work identifying 48 “subjects of interest” and solving three homicides.
Barone even spared the lives of a federal judge and a federal prosecutor by exposing a mob murder plot against the pair — implicating Bonanno family boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano.
“He was a gold mine,” said his former attorney, Jose Muniz, at Barone’s trial.
Life isn’t much better for Barone, 56, when his eyes are open.
And yet Barone somehow landed on the wrong side of the law.
In two particularly bizarre twists, he was ratted out by an NYPD snitch — and arrested by agents from the FBI, his employers for nearly two decades.
He was busted on a Friday afternoon after returning home from grocery shopping with his girlfriend. Barone then spent 16 nerve-wracking months in prison as the Metropolitan Detention Center buzzed with jailhouse threats against the rat in their midst.
His long-ago acquittal doesn’t feel much like a win anymore.
“I got my day in court, to save my life, to beat the charges that were lied about me,” Barone said as the anniversary of his arrest approached.
“But because of the way it had to take place, my life got ruined. Why are they fighting me so hard? I’m just one little guy against the whole big government.”
While Barone’s appeal is fueled by emotion, the government’s court filings rely on legalese.
“In Barone’s underlying criminal case, the government gathered substantial evidence of Barone’s involvement in the actus reus elements of the murder for hire scheme with which he was charged,” read one recent government filing.
The feds further contend that Barone, despite his long undercover run, lacked the authority to conspire with the other informant — and was required to promptly report any details about possible crimes.
Despite all he’s lost, Barone clings to one thing: Hope that another jury can hear his story.
“That’s all I’m looking for, to get my fair share at trial,” he said. “Why can’t I get my day in court?”


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Philadelphia mob boss Skinny Joey Merlino faces January trial in NYC

Reputed Mafia boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino has survived more than 25 attempts on his life and been cleared of the most serious charges — three murder raps — leveled against him over the years.
When the flamboyant Philadelphia native, who now lives in Boca Raton, goes on trial next month, he hopes to beat the feds as they try to put him back in prison for much of the rest of his life.
The current case began last year when the feds arrested 46 men up and down the East Coast on charges they said read like “an old-school Mafia novel.” The men were accused of being part of an organized crime network that involved the Genovese, Gambino, Lucchese, Bonanno and Philadelphia major crime families. Their business included gambling, selling tax-free cigarettes and collecting illegal debts, the feds say.
Merlino, 55, and Eugene “Rooster” Onofrio, 75, of East Haven, Conn., are the only two who are going to trial. Merlino is free on a $5 million bond and his trial starts Jan. 16 in federal court in Manhattan.
He is considered a “mob star” by some because he courted media attention, regularly marched in the Philadelphia Mummers parade and made a holiday tradition of distributing turkeys to needy families.
It’s no surprise that Merlino is going to trial, said David Fritchey, a retired federal prosecutor and former chief of organized crime for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, who helped send Merlino to prison in the past.
“That’s his personality. He’s gone to trial before and he’s dodged some legal bullets – he’s been hit but not as mortally as he could have been,” said Fritchey. “He’s the kind of guy who takes his chances.”
“But there’s a cost that comes with that kind of in-your-face criminality. It attracts the attention of law enforcement,” he said.
Fritchey said he anticipates one of the most interesting aspects of the upcoming trial will be seeing how a Manhattan jury reacts to Merlino. Though Merlino is something of a celebrity in Philadelphia and South Florida, he’s not so well known in New York City, the international capital of mob activity.
“I see this as an away game for Joey,” said Fritchey. “He was a celebrity in Philadelphia and 50 percent of jurors had heard of him, had positive associations or were afraid of him. In New York City, he’s just another criminal defendant. He’s a guppy swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, going to trial in New York City. He’s not John Gotti.”Reputed mob boss who moved to Boca liked high-profile lifestyle, veteran prosecutor says
Merlino moved to Boca Raton when he was released from federal prison in 2011 after serving most of a 14-year sentence for racketeering, extortion and illegal gambling. He had been acquitted of murder and drug charges.
A restaurant that traded on his mom’s recipes and bore his family name, Merlinos, did business on Southeast First Avenue for a few years but has since closed. Merlino told court officials it was owned by a group of investors. He served as the maĆ®tre d’ because his criminal record bans him from obtaining a liquor license, authorities said.
When Merlino was arrested on the latest charges, in August 2016, federal prosecutors in Manhattan touted the indictment as a major strike against the so-called East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.
But the case has been dogged by problems. Two FBI agents who worked on the investigation did not keep a cooperating witness’s text messages, failed to keep adequate notes about some of their debriefings and did not file investigative reports, court records show. Both agents were disciplined and suspended for several days after an internal investigation.
Questions have also been raised about the conduct of one of the main informants, widely identified as John Rubeo, who worked undercover on the case for the feds.
Those problems led prosecutors to sweeten some of the plea agreements they offered most of the suspects pleaded guilty to related charges. The harshest punishment doled out, so far, was seven years in federal prison but several were sentenced to just the one day they served when they were arrested, followed by probation or house arrest. Several more will be sentenced early next year.
Merlino faces 20 years in federal prison if convicted of three federal charges that accuse him of racketeering conspiracy, running illegal gambling businesses, selling untaxed cigarettes, collecting unlawful debts, making extortionate credit extensions, and committing mail, wire and healthcare fraud.
Onofrio, described as an acting Genovese crime family capo who led crews on Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy and Springfield, Mass., was to be tried at the same time as Merlino but a judge ruled Thursday that his trial will be postponed indefinitely because Onofrio needs medical treatment.
Merlino’s attorneys declined to comment for this report but their court filings make it clear they plan to attack the credibility of the agents and informants.
Merlino rose to power in the 90s and has been the boss of the Philadelphia crime family for many years, investigators say. He is the son of the late Scarfo crime family underboss Salvatore “Chuckie” Merlino and the nephew of Lawrence “Yoki” Merlino.
According to Mafia lore, and investigators, Merlino is the main suspect in the attempted murder of another mob figure, Nicky Scarfo, Jr., on Halloween 1989. A man, dressed in a bumble bee costume, shot Scarfo eight times with a MAC-10 submachine gun at an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia but Scarfo survived, according to prosecutors and media reports. Merlino has never been charged in connection with that incident.
Merlino was later convicted of robbing an armored truck of $350,000 in August 1989 and served several years in federal prison, where investigators say he and other associates plotted a takeover of the Philadelpia mob family.
During the ensuing mob war, Merlino survived more than two dozen attempts on his life, including a drive-by shooting in August of 1993. He took a bullet in his buttocks, according to newspaper accounts.


An authentic glimpse into the notorious Gambino boss John Gotti

Like many New Yorkers, I look forward to going to movies over the winter holiday break. So I was disappointed by the delay in releasing what was set to be a big prestige pic — “The Life and Death of John Gotti,” starring John Travolta as you-know-who. Hopefully, the National Enquirer headline “Mob Rubs out Travolta’s Gotti Movie” has it wrong.
As a boring professor, I used to be spellbound hearing stories from a cop friend I grew up with on Staten Island — none more than his tale of once “accidentally” arresting Gotti back in 1984.
Some New Yorkers find Gotti, the stylish “Dapper Don” and Gambino crime family boss, a fascinating, even likeable, character. Legend has it he respected cops and everyday people. But too often, the media glamorizes these gangsters. To their victims and police, they’re lowlifes, and with good reason.
My friend told me how, one more than 30 years ago, his squad car got a radio communication about a three-car collision. At the scene, two of the drivers said the other one was completely uncooperative and staying in his Lincoln Continental.
My cop friend asked him for license and registration. The perp blurted a two-word obscenity at him. Asked to get out of his Lincoln, the perp repeated the curse.
Realizing he was drunk, my friend reached into the car to help get him out — but was met with a kick just missing his groin.
Then, the thug attempted to hit him. My friend blocked the punch, countering his head butt with a right cross and knocking him to the ground, where he was cuffed and arrested for driving intoxicated and resisting arrest.
As soon as the driver was put into the police car and read his rights, he told my cop friend:
“You don’t know who I am. I’m John Gotti and I’m going to kill your mother. Then I’m going to kill you. First I’m going to rape you. Then I’m going to kill you slowly and then they’ll find you stuffed in a trunk in New Jersey. I did hard time for murder. I’ve been sleeping in jail with scum all my life.”
Only then did my cop friend realize his collar was the fortysomething Teflon Don just then approaching full glory, a few years before feds finally made stick charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, racketeering, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling and tax evasion — not to mention his narcotics trafficking and related activities.
That wasn’t the end of the story. At the station, the desk officer, a lieutenant, asked Gotti, whose face was bleeding, “How did you get in this condition, sir?”
“I slipped and fell.”
The officer interrupted, “He didn’t slip. He resisted arrest and necessary force was used to affect that arrest.”
Gotti screamed, “What did you tell him that for?! That’s between me and you!”
He was searched. His ID confirmed his identity. The funds in his possession were $2,700. He laughed and said, “That’s chump change. I drop more in a crap game than all of you make in a year.”
“What’s your occupation?” my friend asked.
“What did you have to eat tonight?”
“The usual.”
“What did you drink tonight?”
“The usual.”
“What’s the usual?”
“You know. Wine, scotch.”
“Where were you coming from?”
“My girl friend’s house.”
At about this time, Gotti got a phone call from one of his lawyers. Gotti told him he was going to another precinct for a Breathalyzer. When the officer and Gotti got to the only facility in the area with an intoxicated-driver-testing unit, Gotti’s colleagues, three large men staring at the situation, were waiting in a black limousine.
My officer friend remembered Gotti “blowing a .27, three times the legal intoxication level.” He failed two tests, got a desk appearance ticket, and was released, eventually plea-bargaining his charges down to minor disorderly conduct and driving impaired violations.
But Gotti didn’t let anything go.
One week later, at approximately 5 a.m., my friend received a phone call at his home from an unidentified male caller.
“Your mother’s dead,” said the voice.
His mother wasn’t dead. That was the last he heard from Gotti’s people. But it still haunts him.
However Travolta portrays the mob boss, that’s the man I will remember: a killer, an intimidator and a thug.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Judge hands aging Bonanno captain a potential death sentence

A legendary airport robbery recounted in the movie "Goodfellas" came back to haunt an 82-year-old mobster on Thursday, when a judge cited evidence of his role in it while sentencing him to eight years in prison for an unrelated road rage arson.
Vincent Asaro, balding and bespectacled, reacted to the sentence with disgust.
"I don't care what happens to me at this point," he grumbled.
He looked at U.S. District Judge Allyne R. Ross, saying: "What you sentenced me to is a death sentence anyway."
The sentence was more than double what federal guidelines set out as punishment for the 2012 car torching, which prosecutors said resulted when Asaro directed Bonanno crime family associates to track down and set afire the car of a motorist he believed had cut him off.
Asaro, speaking before the announcement of the sentence, said he was "terribly sorry."
"I was on my way home," he said. "It happened. It just got out of hand."
The judge said she had "no illusion" that prison will result in Asaro's rehabilitation or bring an end to his "lifelong career as a member of the Mafia." She said she was mindful of Asaro's 2015 acquittal in the infamous 1978 heist at the Lufthansa cargo terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, a robbery retold in the 1990 hit film "Goodfellas," starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci.
The judge said she reviewed evidence from the trial she had presided over and cited proof Asaro had participated in a 1969 murder and had admitted his role and obtained jewelry from the armed robbery of more than $6 million in cash and jewelry from the Lufthansa terminal.
"He remains dangerous to the public," she said.
The prison term resulted from a road rage encounter between Asaro and a motorist who became "embroiled in a high-speed chase at the hands of an enraged Asaro," the FBI said.
Asaro contacted an associate with access to a local law enforcement database, identified the license plate information of the car and triggered a plan to burn the car in front of the motorist's home, said the head of New York's FBI office, William F. Sweeney Jr.
"The anger that propelled Asaro to action is reminiscent of so many scripted Hollywood dramas, but unlike the fame and fortune of the big screen, Asaro's story ends on a different note," Sweeney said in a release. "Today's sentence proves that living life in the fast lane is sure to be short lived."
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde said Asaro's sentence was "for a lifetime of violent criminal activity."
Before the announcement of the sentence, defense attorney Elizabeth Macedonio blamed the government for the long prison term, saying prosecutors were "asking you to sentence him for crimes he was acquitted of that occurred 50 or 60 years ago."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Argentieri called Asaro a "one-man crime wave" and said he was a hero in his Queens neighborhood after he was acquitted at trial.
"It's time to send a message, to break the cycle," she said.