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

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feds want jury protection in mob case

Citing concerns over jury safety and extensive media coverage, the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s office is asking a judge empanel an “anonymous jury” in the upcoming organized crime trial against a reputed former mob boss.
In a motion Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ferland said a juror's personal information should be omitted from documents and that the jurors be placed in “partial sequestration.”
“The Government further requests that each trial day, the United States Marshals Service transport the jurors as a group to and from the courthouse,” Ferland wrote. “This procedure will minimize the burden on the jurors and insulate them from intrusion, intimidation or harassment.”
The trial against accused former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio and six others is scheduled to begin on April 23. They are accused of running a continuing criminal enterprise that engaged in extortion of strip clubs for protection payments and three defendants are charged with shaking down an unnamed victim for $20,000 who allegedly owed the mob money.
In the filing, Ferland said in considering the government’s request, the judge should factor in that the defendants are “members or associates of a notorious organized crime enterprise.”
“This is a factor that should be considered in determining whether or not these defendants could seek ‘outside assistance’ in an effort to intimidate or punish jurors,” Ferland wrote. “The removal of the names, addresses and places of employment of the jurors provides a serious impediment to any attempts to unlawfully influence the jury deliberation process.”
Prosecutors are also concerned media coverage of the trial could include the disclosure of a juror’s identity, making it easier for associates to locate and harass them.
Also in the filing, Ferland revealed that one of the defendants is a “three strikes” candidate and could face a harsh punishment under those laws.
Albino Folcarelli, identified by investigators as a mob associate, is facing one count of extortion conspiracy.
Enacted in the 1990s, the “three strikes law” significantly increases a defendants prison time if they have already been convicted of two or more felonies.
Ferland said that and what could be a potential “life sentence” for the 84 year-old Manocchio, might be motivation to try and tamper with a jury.
U.S. District Court Judge William Smith has to rule on the motion.
A meeting with all the lawyers in the case is scheduled for Friday morning in the judge’s chambers.



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