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

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lawyers For Tommy Shots Hope To Ban Mafia Photos Seized By Informant's Wife

The acting boss of the Colombo crime family wants a judge to toss out incriminating evidence against him -- dozens of snapshots taken by his wife and bizarrely turned over to the feds by the spouse of a fellow mobster.
Maureen Gioeli's photo albums and scrapbooks show her husband, Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, posing happily with both their blood relatives -- and his crime family.
The feds want to display them at his upcoming murder and racketeering trial in Brooklyn federal court to document his mob links.
The Gioelis' big mistake, it turns out, was mixing business and pleasure by fraternizing with their neighbors -- fellow Colombo mobster Dino "Big Dino" Calabro and his wife, Andrea, in Farmingdale, LI.
Andrea had the run of the Gioelis' house and knew how much Maureen enjoyed photography.
So she secretly lifted several dozen pictures from 30 photo albums and scrapbooks and handed them to prosecutors to curry favor with the feds for her own husband, who faces similar charges in the same case, according to Gioeli's lawyer, Adam Perlmutter.
Both Calabros are now in the witness-protection program.
Maureen's pictures of social functions like baptisms, birthdays and holiday parties feature a large contingent of Colombo crime-family members and associates.
She had kept the albums on a living-room shelf next to the family's entertainment console, with loose photos stored in bins and boxes in the cellar.
Among the snaps was a picture of Thomas Gioeli at age 19, standing in front of a Farmingdale candy store with Joseph "Jo Jo" Russo, a former Colombo member who died while serving a life sentence for the murder of mobster John Minerva and Minerva's friend Michael Imbergano.
Tommy Shots and Big Dino now face murder charges for both killings.
They're also accused in the murders of Ralph Greaves, a Colombo associate suspected of being an informer, and William "Wild Bill" Cutolo, who was slain in a mob struggle.
Still another photo shows Thomas Gioeli at a baptism with Sebastian "Sebby" Saracino, a Colombo soldier who two weeks ago pleaded guilty to immigration fraud and is a cooperating government witness working for the feds in the Gioeli case.
Andrea also helped herself to an address book, which she gave to the feds, too.
Tommy Shots, who is overweight and diabetic, suffered a stroke nearly a year ago after a judge refused to spring him on health grounds.
His lawyer, Perlmutter, argues the pictures can't be used because Andrea was, in effect, acting as a government agent sent on a clandestine mission, which violates the constitutional requirement that officers obtain search warrants.
He wants the judge to rule off-limits not only the photos but other evidence FBI agents seized when they later obtained a warrant and searched the Gioeli household.
The feds claim that Andrea had Maureen's permission to take the pictures.
The stakes are huge. Gioeli faces penalties that include life behind bars if convicted at his trial next year.



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