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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jailed mobsters want iPods to review evidence against them

Worst. Playlist. Ever.
A dozen reputed mobsters want prison officials to let them have iPods so they can listen to secret government recordings behind bars.
Defense lawyers complained today that their clients — busted in January’s massive Mafia round-up — can’t properly prepare for trial due to the sheer volume of evidence compiled by two snitches.
The wire-wearing rats furtively recorded about 1,000 of conversations, but the imprisoned defendants only get three hours a week to review them.
At that rate, it will take more than six years just to listen to each recording once, said lawyer Eric Franz, who represents reputed Gambino crime-family capo Louis Mastrangelo.
Franz said the federal Bureau of Prisons denied his request to bring his client a pre-loaded iPod because it "jeopardizes the safety of the institution."
Manhattan federal prosecutor John Zach said officials may be concerned "that some iPods have a recording feature," but defense lawyer Steven Frankel — who represents reputed Gambinio associate John "Johnny Bandana" Brancaccio — countered that older models without that feature were still available and "really inexpensive."
Lawyer Joel Winograd, who represents reputed Gambino soldier Michael "Roc" Roccaforte, also noted a recent case in Brooklyn federal court — reported exclusively by The Post — where prosecutors approved the use of specially prepared iPods by two jailed mob defendants.
Judge Richard Berman told both sides to confer with prison officials and report back to him



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