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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Court filing reveals sheer volume of recordings against Rhode Island mob boss

A more detailed picture of the U.S. Attorney's case against a reputed former mob boss and several of his alleged soldiers emerged in a new federal court filing on Tuesday.
The documents reveal the large volume and sweeping scope of recorded conversations captured by hidden cameras and bugs inside Providence's Cadillac Lounge strip club during an investigation into an alleged Mafia protection racket. The evidence also includes a surveillance video seized from a popular downtown coffee shop.
Federal prosecutor William Ferland filed the motion in response to a complaint by an attorney for accused capo regime Edward "Eddie” Lato that the government had committed a "document dump" drowning him in evidence without much guidance.
Attached to the motion was a 10-page letter prosecutors sent to defense lawyer Mark Smith laying out the evidence the government has in the case, an effort to convince the judge the U.S. Attorney's office has taken great paints to help the defense attorneys deal with the mountain of discovery.
The letter says prosecutors plan to have jurors listen to three recorded conversations from the winter of 2010 between reputed former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio and a cooperating witness.
It also details the extensive surveillance conducted inside the Cadillac Lounge, including hidden microphones inside the main part of the club and an office. FBI agents also installed hidden cameras in an “interior office” and on a shoeshine chair.
On Feb. 25, 2010, the FBI issued a subpoena for video surveillance from the Starbucks inside Providence's Biltmore Hotel, the letter says. It does not state who is shown in the video or how it will be used in the case.
In all, prosecutors handed over 116 compact discs to defense attorneys in the case, including video, audio and photos, as well as documentation.
As Target 12 first reported Tuesday, the defense lawyer for Lato is urging U.S. District Court Judge William Smith to compel prosecutors to provide a “useful roadmap” to guide them through the large amount of material.
But Ferland said the letter he provided does just that and objected to the request for more time to sift through the evidence.
“It is difficult to understand how the defendant could contend he does not grasp the significance of this evidence,” Ferland wrote. “Counsel was specifically instructed if he had any problems with the discs he should immediately contact the Government’s attorney who would provide assistance. No further contact was had from defendant relative to accessing the discs or locating specific material.”
The letter also reveals prosecutors plan to use the now famous 1989 audio recordings of a Mafia induction ceremony held in Medford, Mass. The recordings have been used in several cases to prove the existence of the mob. They feature the voice of former mob boss Raymond “Junior” Patriarca welcoming members into the crime family, including Robert “Bobby” DeLuca, an alleged high-ranking member of the New England La Cosa Nostra from Rhode Island who has recently disappeared.
During a press conference earlier in the year, U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha declined to comment if DeLuca was being used as a government witness in the case.
As Target 12 first reported, Lato, 64, of Johnston, was arrested by federal agents in September, accused in a RICO conspiracy case of shaking down area strip clubs for protection money. He was one of seven defendants charged in a superseding indictment.
The indictment accuses Lato of carrying on the shakedown scheme even after the reputed former boss Manocchio was scooped up in a first round of arrests last January.
In all, eight men have been arrested in Rhode Island as part of the national crackdown on organized crime. Beside Manocchio and Lato, the accused are:
            -Thomas Iafrate
            -Theodore  “Teddy” Cardillo
            -Richard Bonafiglia
            -Alfred “Chippy” Scivola
            -Raymond “Scarface” Jenkins
            -Albino Folcarelli
All but Iafrate – who entered into a plea agreement in July – have pleaded not guilty to the charges.



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