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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feds appeal judge's ruling to free high-ranking mobster charged with killing men over spilled drink

Federal prosecutors are appealing a magistrate judge's decision Thursday to free on bail a high-ranking Gambino gangster charged with killing two men over a spilled drink.
Brooklyn Magistrate Ramon Reyes ruled that the government did not meet its burden to show reputed capo Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace is a danger to the community.
"The hard evidence of his role in crimes of violence from the end of 2007 to now is problematic," Reyes said.
Vernace, 61, is charged with gunning down Richard Godkin and John D'Agnese in the Shamrock Bar they operated in Woodhaven, Queens in 1981.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder highlighted the senselessness of the killings when he announced the arrests last week of more than 100 organized crime figures including Vernace.
Defense lawyer Gerald Shargel called the evidence stale and ridiculed a photo taken after the raid of a social club allegedly controlled by Vernace showing a "Go Jets" banner and half-eaten pizza.
Pointing to Vernace's family members in the spectator gallery, Shargel asked the magistrate: "Do they look like mobsters?"
Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Norris asked for a stay of the $5 million bail so he can re-argue his case before U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes.


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