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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Defense attorneys question legality of wiretaps in cases against reputed Lucchese crime family members

Defense attorneys today questioned the legality of wiretap devices used in the case against 31 people accused of participating in a gambling and money laundering ring allegedly run by the Lucchese crime family.
During a conference in Superior Court in Morristown, several defense attorneys raised the issue of the wiretaps used in the investigation and said it may further delay the case that results from alleged activities that took place in 2007.
The state Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, has provided CDs of wiretapped conversations to the defendants which it says include 28,790 oral communications and 2,941 text messages intercepted during a 15-month period ending in December 2007.
Attorney Paul S. Chiaramonte, representing Joseph DiNapoli, 75, of Scarsdale, N.Y., a reputed member of the Lucchese family’s “ruling panel,” said the defense attorneys would like to examine the wiretap devices as part of the ongoing “discovery” phase of the case.
“Our contention is it’s not capable of real-time minimization,” Chiaramonte said, referring to a rule that says if no criminal conduct is heard within two minutes, the device should be shut off for 30 seconds. “If they did it wrong, it has to be tossed out,” he added.
Chiaramonte said he and other defense attorneys would like to hire an expert to examine the wiretap devices.
Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades said the state is giving 86 pages of “minimization logs” to the defendants, but is not going to provide the wiretap devices.
The devices may be withheld under an “official information privilege” that allows law enforcement authorities to “maintain the integrity of surveillance techniques,” Eliades said.
Chiaramonte said the defense attorneys also want to see information derived from wiretaps in a Bergen County case that led to the Morris case but has been withheld thus far.
Judge Thomas Manahan issued an order saying all motions regarding discovery of evidence and all motions for dismissal of charges should be filed by the next court date in the case, Jan. 31.
Three low-level defendants have pleaded guilty in the case while charges are still pending against the 31 others who were indicted.



Post a Comment