The state Attorney General’s Office today distributed CDs containing thousands of hours of wiretapped conversations to the 34 defendants accused in a racketeering case linked to the Lucchese crime family.
In a conference in Superior Court in Morristown, Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades said the discs include 28,790 oral communications and 2,941 text messages intercepted by State Police from phones in homes and motor vehicles during a 15-month investigation that ended in December 2007.
Attorneys for the 34 defendants were each handed a pile of 36 CDs as part of the “discovery” phase of the case. The defendants are accused of operating an international gambling ring and money laundering. Four are charged with smuggling drugs into inmates at East Jersey State Prison in Avenel.
Paul Chiaramonte, attorney for reputed mob leader Joseph DiNapoli, 74, of Scarsdale, N.Y., said he intends to file a motion seeking the make, model and serial number of a recording device planted in his client’s vehicle. “We want to see if the device can do what it’s supposed to do,” he said. Many of the other defense attorneys said they intend to join in his motion.
Eliades said he will submit proof that the device works, but he does not intend to give out “proprietary information” about the device. “Law enforcement has valid privileges against disclosing information on a device, or its location,” he said.
Judge Thomas Manahan set the next court date in the case for Feb. 28, when he expects to determine a schedule for hearing pre-trial motions.
Other alleged leaders of the crime ring include Matthew Madonna, 74, of Selden, N.Y., Ralph Perna, 64, of East Hanover and Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., 44, of Egg Harbor. Also charged is Martin Tacetta, 59, of East Hanover, who is serving life in state prison on a racketeering conviction.