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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Government dumps another mob informant


A good rat is hard to find.
The feds have dumped a second mob informant who had secretly taped wiseguys in a case currently on trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.
In both trials, the tapes were played for the jury, but the wire-wearing weasels were missing in action.
Prosecutors revealed Wednesday Bonanno associate Joseph Galante Jr. — who should have been the star witness in the extortion trial of reputed Genovese captain Anthony “Rom” Romanello — has been booted off Team America.
Galante recorded an alleged mob sitdown in a Queens pizzeria to settle a dispute over a $30,000 debt he owed a mortgage broker.
“Mr. Galante is not going to get a 5K1 letter from the government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Dennehy told Federal Judge Carol Amon, referring to a letter that recommends a reduced sentence in return for assisting authorities.
The government typically takes such drastic action when the informant has been caught committing new crimes.
Galante's criminal case is sealed so it is unknown what he’s accused of. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
Another mob rat, former Colombo capo Reynold Maragni, was fired last week as a government witness in a money laundering on trial across the hall.
Cooperating witnesses are the backbone of Mafia cases. When rats go bad, the government’s case often does, too.
Both trials are going to the juries Wednesday.
“There’s no question a jury wonders why the informant is not called to testify,” said prominent criminal defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb who is not involved in either case. “If they hear there was some misconduct that led the government not to call him, it could prove devastating.”


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