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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mob case inches toward trial... maybe

Lawyers from both sides in the sweeping federal organized crime case met again behind closed doors Wednesday and at least one defendant is asking for more time before trial.
It’s unclear if the meeting in U.S. District Court Judge William Smith’s office prompted the filing by accused mob associate Albino Folcarelli. In fact, little is clear about what prosecutors and defense attorneys are looking to clear up as the April 23 trial date looms.
Folcarelli asked the judge to push the start of the trial back one month. Smith will have to rule on the motion which would impact all seven defendants in the case, including reputed former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio.
Court records show there have been three such closed door sessions since January. The first was requested by well-known defense attorney John F. Cicilline in a filing last month. In it, Cicilline – who represents accused mob associate Theodore Cardillo – wrote “I believe such a meeting can produce a final answer as to whether or not the case will be a trial.”
Whether or not that means all sides are close to striking a deal on the eve of trial remains a mystery. When reached by phone, defense attorneys – those inclined to return calls – declined to comment. The same goes for the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Despite the tight lips, some information has been leaking out through a flurry of pre-trial court filings. Here’s a summary of the latest:
  • Federal prosecutors asked the judge to empanel an “anonymous jury” to prevent tampering and harassment.
  • The only defendant in the case to plead guilty suffers a heart attack days before he is supposed to report to prison. Mob associate Thomas Iafrate is now scheduled to begin his 30 month prison stay on Feb. 21.
  • In what may be a moot issue, Manocchio was granted another shot at trying to make bail awaiting trial. It would be third-times-a-charm for Manocchio who has been twice denied the ability to stay at his brother’s Glocester’s home on GPS monitoring. As of Wednesday, Manocchio’s lawyers had not yet filed with the First Circuit Court of Appeals for a hearing. 
  • Judge sets April 23 rd as trial date and Cicilline’s requests all sides meet behind closed doors. 
  • Defendants Albino Folcarelli, Raymond “Scarface” Jenkins, Alfred “Chippy” Scivola and Cardillo all requested separate trials from Manocchio and reputed mob captain Edward “Eddie” Lato. A hearing to rule on the motions was cancelled on Feb. 3, the same day all sides met in their first closed-door meeting.
Apparently, there has been some prep work leading up to a potential hearing before the First Circuit on Manocchio’s bail request. Both federal prosecutors and defense counsel for Manocchio requested the court transcripts from the Dec. 21 detention hearing in which Judge Smith denied the 84 year-old bail. A court reporter supplied the transcripts on Feb. 6.
Meanwhile, each of the defendants remain locked up at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls.



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