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

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mob trial opens in killings of police officer and others

The off-duty police officer was mysteriously ambushed by gunmen, and died in the street outside his home in Brooklyn.
For two other men, the end came farther from home: they were killed separately in the basement of a man they had trusted, prosecutors say. One was a mob associate who wanted out of the life; he was shot once in the back of the head, never to be seen again. The other was an underboss who apparently had accumulated too much clout for comfort; his body was not found for nearly a decade.
Those murders and three others, described on Monday in the opening statement of Cristina M. Posa, a federal prosecutor, are at the heart of the prosecution of Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, the former acting boss of the Colombo crime family, and Dino "Little Dino" Saracino, who the authorities say was one of his hit men, on murder and racketeering charges in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.
“As professional killers, that was their specialty — committing murder and getting away with it — until today,” Ms. Posa told the jury.
Of the six killings, the one shrouded in the most mystery was the one that claimed the life of the police officer, Ralph C. Dols, 28.
Officer Dols had married a woman, Kim T. Kennaugh, who had been previously married to three men associated with the Colombo crime family. One of them, Enrico Carrini, was killed in 1987; the most recent former husband was Joel Cacace, also known as Joe Waverly, described by officials as a consigliere, or top mob adviser.
Federal prosecutors have accused Mr. Cacace of ordering Mr. Saracino and others to kill Officer Dols because it was embarrassing that Ms. Kennaugh would leave a powerful mobster for someone in law enforcement.
Mr. Saracino and Mr. Gioeli were among those charged with the murder of the underboss, William "Wild Bill" Cutolo Sr., who was also a union official. His body was found on Long Island in 2008 after the authorities were tipped off by an informer.
Mr. Gioeli’s lawyer, Carl J. Herman, said in his opening remarks on Monday that the prosecution had built its case based on the work of a desperate federal agent who relied on cooperating witnesses who had reason to lie.
Mr. Herman said the government was “offering deals to criminals and murderers and paying federal money pursuant to their cooperation agreements.”
Samuel M. Braverman, a lawyer for Mr. Saracino, said there was no physical evidence that the murders even happened. He said the prosecution could present the testimony only of sociopaths who could not be trusted.
Mr. Gioeli and Mr. Saracino both face life in prison if convicted. 



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