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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

N.J. judge refuses to dismiss indictment against alleged Bloods member charged in 2007 mob bust

FBI surveillance photo of Casso (right) with L...Vic Amuso and Anthony CassoA Superior Court judge today refused to dismiss an indictment against an alleged Bloods gang leader who is accused of working with the Lucchese crime family to smuggle drugs and cell phones for fellow inmates at East Jersey State Prison.
Edwin Spears, 36, of Neptune, allegedly participated in the conspiracy in the summer of 2007 and was initially charged in December 2007.
His attorney, William Johnson, sought to dismiss the indictment on grounds that Spears’ right to a speedy trial has been violated because so much time has elapsed since he was charged. Spears is being held at the Morris County jail on $125,000 bail.
Johnson pointed out that an indictment was not returned against Spears until June 2010, meaning the case was delayed nearly three years, and Spears has been incarcerated for all but three months of that period.
Judge Thomas Manahan, sitting in Morristown, said the delay was not as long as Johnson claimed. The judge pointed out that Spears was found to have violated terms of his parole and 14 months were added to his sentence on a prior charge.
Still, Manahan said, there was “at least a 17-month delay,” adding that “under ordinary circumstances” that might be a problem.
However, Manahan said, “This was no ordinary street crime.” He pointed out that Spears is one of 34 defendants charged as being part of a Lucchese racketeering operation that allegedly ran an international gambling ring and money laundering during a 15-month period ending in December 2007.
“It’s an extremely complex case and (Spears’) conduct cannot be severed,” Manahan said. He added that the delay was mostly due to “the complexity of the case” and said there was “no deliberate attempt to delay.”
Deputy Attorney General Christopher Romanyshyn pointed out that evidence in the case includes wiretaps of 10,000 intercepted phone calls.



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