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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Judge order "Baby Shacks" Manocchio kept behind bars

A federal judge on Monday ordered that Luigi "Baby Shacks" Manocchio be kept behind bars, overturning another judge's decision to set him free on bail.
U.S. District Judge William Smith said Manocchio, 83, is a flight risk and "no conditions or combination of conditions of release could be imposed to reasonably assure [his] appearance for future court proceedings (including trial)." He also said he was "less convinced" than U.S. Magistrate Judge David Martin that Manocchio was not a threat to others.
On March 8, Martin had set bail for Manocchio at $500,000 with surety and ruled that he could be released on home confinement under electronic surveillance. Martin said the reputed former ex-boss of the Patriarca crime family was neither a threat to the community nor a flight risk.
Federal prosecutors appealed Martin's decision to Smith, arguing Manocchio's past history showed he was likely to flee. Their argument won the day following a hearing last week, though the district judge called has decision to overrule Martin "a reasonably close call."
Manocchio is behind bars at Central Falls' Wyatt Detention Center awaiting trial. He was arrested in January after being indicted for allegedly shaking down Rhode Island strip clubs for protection money and charged with conspiracy, extortion and racketeering conspiracy.
Three other Rhode Island men are also charged in the case. All four - Manocchio, Theodore Cardillo, Thomas Iafrate and Richard Bonafiglia - have pleaded not guilty.
In a 12-page decision issued mid-afternoon Monday, Smith noted that while Manocchio has not been charged with murder in this case, "the crime of extortion and the threats, implied force, violence and fear that come with it are not to be taken lightly."
Prosecutors argued vigorously against letting Manocchio out on bail, pointing out that he spent a decade on the lam after being linked to a 1968 gangland slaying and that he allegedly flew to Italy in 2009 to purchase a home there. They also said he has access to a private jet through a wealthy friend.
Manocchio's attorney, Mary June Ciresi, had countered that the alleged mobster did eventually turn himself in to face the music over that murder and added that he has known about the current investigation for years yet hasn't fled the country. She described him as an elderly man who has been poorly treated by the federal court system.
Martin said in his decision he was "deeply troubled" by the 10 years Manocchio spent as a fugitive in the 1970s, during which time he reportedly hid out in Europe.
"Although he returned to Rhode Island voluntarily, it was essentially a negotiated surrender, and one that [Manocchio] made only after it became apparent that the [government's] case against him had become significantly weakened," reducing the amount of time he might have to spend in prison, the judge wrote.

Martin also said Manocchio's claims that he lacks financial resources and has neither a bank account nor a credit card "raise a red flag," since prosecutors say he "has recently been found with large amounts of cash on his person despite having no apparent source of income."
Martin said Manocchio could "quite easily" escape from his brother's rural Foster-Glocester estate, where he was supposed to be confined, and noted that other alleged organized crime figures including James "Whitey" Bulger and Enrico Ponzo "have managed to flee and remain undetected for many years."



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