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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Informant recorded NY mafia for 530 days during meetings

Speak directly into the trash can, please.

The garbage carter who helped the feds bust a dozen mobsters -- including an alleged ringleader nicknamed "Papa Smurf" -- made 530 days worth of secret recordings, a prosecutor revealed in court today.

The "consensual recordings" range in length from phone calls that lasted just a few minutes to a marathon, 10-hour gab-fest, Manhattan federal prosecutor Arianna Berg said.

Berg didn't divulge who got caught blabbing during the undercover operation, nor did she reveal the identity of the "cooperating witness" who turned the tables on the mob after getting shaken down for a share of his profits.

Sources have told The Post that the informant ran M&C Waste Services in Westchester.

All of the defendants -- who the feds say include both "soldiers" and "associates" of the Genovese, Lucchese and Gambino crime families -- pleaded not guilty yesterday.

They include reputed Genovese associate Carmine Franco, who's been banned from the carting industry in New Jersey due to his prior convictions.

The feds say Franco, 77, is known in gangland circles as "Papa Smurf" -- apparently due to his wizened appearance and round eyes.

Judge Kevin Castel set Sept. 23 trial date for the case, which involves a total of 29 defendants, including a recently retired state trooper, Mario Velez, who's accused of using strong-arm tactics to extort the owner of a trash company and take over the business.


1 comment:

  1. Was released January 14th from disclosure information.

    Feds: Key Garbage Case Witness A Sex Pervert Who Likes 15-Year-Old Girls

    The feds disclosed last week why they have been giving out sweet plea deals to wiseguys and associates of three crime families who were snared in a massive sting operation into the scandal-tarred private sanitation industry in New York and New Jersey: their main witness is a sex pervert who preys on 15 year old girls.

    In court papers, Manhattan federal prosecutors say that the undercover operative who taped more than 500 conversations with 29 defendants with the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese clans began working for the FBI after he was arrested for soliciting sex with a girl he believed to be 15 years old. The filing was disclosed yesterday by the Daily News.

    The witness is identified in court papers as CW but Gang Land named him six weeks ago as Charles Hughes, a longtime fixture in the waste hauling business. Hughes was arrested on charges carrying a mandatory minimum of 10 years behind bars when he arrived at a motel with a supply of condoms prepared for a tryst with the "15 year old girl" he had solicited for sex for two months, according to the filings.

    In their papers, prosecutors Brian Blais, Natalie Lamarque and Patrick Egan are asking trial judge P. Kevin Castel to keep a lid on that sleazy history by limiting the scope of the defense questioning of Hughes. They argue that any discussion of their witness's sordid past would inflame and prejudice jurors in the case against the government.

    Prosecutors asked Castel "to preclude cross-examination regarding the details of the graphic, sexually explicit conversations between (Hughes) and the girl during internet chats and phone conversations." 

    The grubby details of the conversations, say the prosecutors, would add "little or nothing to the jury's assessment of (Hughes's) credibility, and the inflammatory nature of the offenses would be highly prejudicial."

    Unsurprisingly, lawyers for the defendants are eager to make sure jurors hear as much as possible about those frisky exchanges. But Raymond Perini, attorney for Gambino soldier Anthony Bazzini, who begins trial next week along with mob associate Scott Fappiano, insisted that he will keep his questions tasteful. He has no intention, he told the judge, to "bring out verbatim the discussions of organ size, sex acts, or body waxing other than to refer to them in passing."

    Arguing that Hughes is not just a witness "but essentially the ONLY government witness," Perini wrote that government's effort to block the sex crime history was premature, certainly before Castel "has heard the evidence in context."

    "This is not some unrelated bad act," writes Perini, but the crime that is the sole basis for Hughes's decision to cooperate, and as such, he "is highly motivated to curry favor with the government" since "this is how he plans on getting out from under" a long stretch behind bars.

    The lawyer says that among other things, he wants to question Hughes about lies he told the "girl" and a "series of lies" he told a court appointed shrink who treated him following his arrest.

    "None of these factors involve 'graphic conversations,' just plain old lying," he wrote.

    In November, the main defendant in the case, Carmine (Papa Smurf) Franco pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges that call for a maximum of 50 years in prison. His plea agreement with the feds, however, recommends a prison term between 27 and 33 months.

    So far, 15 of the 29 defendants in the indictment, which has been split into four trials, have copped plea deals. Bazzini, 54, and Fappiano, 50, are the only two remaining defendants in the first trial, which begins Tuesday.