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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Judge rewards former Bonanno Capo turned rat with 10 year sentence for two murders

Nicholas GaraufisA former Bonanno crime family captain who helped put mob boss Vinny “Gorgeous” Basciano away for life — and who also ratted out dozens of other wiseguys — was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for his role in two Mafia rubouts.
Dominick Cicale, who has already served seven years behind bars, will get credit for that time, and when he gets out will be re-settled under a new identity in the witness-protection program.
At one time, the 44-year-old was a close friend and trusted lieutenant of former Bonanno boss Basciano.
But Cicale eventually betrayed his friend, became a government informant, and took the witness stand last year as one of the star witnesses to help convict Basciano of a mob murder.
It was a momentous decision that may have saved his life.
Prior to becoming an FBI informant, Cicale was facing a potential death penalty trial for his role in two fatal mob hits - including the 2004 killing of Bonanno associate Randy Pizzolo.
In the end, Cicale’s decision to switch sides has brought a new lease on life, considering the “extraordinary assistance he has given the government,” Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis said.
”Alright, Mr. Cicale - this is your chance. I hope you will live a law-abiding and productive life,” Garaufis said.
The judge, however, noted the “Faustian bargain” that law enforcement authorities must make with unsavory criminals in order to glean information that will aid in prosecuting other mobsters.
He described Cicale as a man whose hallmarks of adult existence were “a lifetime of violence and an utter disregard for human life.”
Garaufis also pointed out that Cicale’s admitted participation in three different murders suggested traits of “viciousness and violence that were exceptional - even by organized crime standards.”
“Mr. Cicale is a true career criminal,” the judge said.
Assistant US Attorneys Nicole Argentieri and Greg Andres said nevertheless that Cicale provided a wealth of vital intelligence that helped convict a long list of ruthless mobsters.
In a detailed 58-page brief, prosecutors documented case after Mafia case where Cicale offered insider information that proved helpful — among them prosecutions of “more than a dozen inducted members of the Bonanno family.”
“Cicale’s information was particularly critical due to the leadership fluctuations in the Bonanno family’s hierarchy in the days after the incarceration and conviction of longtime Bonanno family boss Joseph Massino, and the arrest of acting boss Anthony “Tony Green” Urso and others,” the prosecutors wrote.
Inside information supplied by Cicale also “fueled a series of additional prosecutions and was used, in part, to eliminate — or at least incapacitate — the succeeding four Bonanno family administrations and bosses,” including Basciano, Michael “The Nose” Mancuso, Nicholas “Nicky Mouth” Santora, and Salvatore “Sal the Ironworker” Montagna, the feds wrote.
Cicale’s defense attorney, Russell Neufeld, observed that the ex-mobster has changed dramatically since his arrest in Jan. 2005.
”He really is a different person,” Neufeld insisted.
Cicale stood as he addressed the court, wearing a white dress shirt and gray slacks, and apologized to the families of the men he murdered - Randy Pizzolo and Frank Santoro, an addict from The Bronx who allegedly had plotted to kidnap Basciano’s son.
”I am so sorry,” Cicale said. “There is not a day when I do not pray for the souls of my victims.”


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