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

Monday, April 15, 2013

FBI agent stumbles on high level Gambino family meeting while strolling through the park

Bartolemeo Vernace, pictured in 1998, is accused of operating a criminal enterprise with fellow known wiseguys Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo and Alphonse Trucchio.

After 32 years and two trials, bringing a top Gambino mobster to justice for killing two men in a Queens bar may be a walk in the park after all.

The feds obtained crucial evidence for the racketeering case against Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace when an FBI agent strolling in Forest Park in Queens luckily stumbled upon a meeting between Vernace and two supporting characters in the case.

FBI agent Gerard Conrad was simply taking a break from his work supervising 15 agents who investigate the Gambino crime family, he testified.

And then, he got a stroke of good luck on that warm 2006 day: “I saw three made members of the Gambino family and two associates of the family in the park,” he said.

Alphonse Trucchi, son of Gambino crime family henchman Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio, met with Bobby Vernace at a playground in Forest Park, Queens.

It was Vernace, Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo and Alphonse Trucchio, the son of Gambino thug Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio, in the woods near a playground.

Conrad called for backup agents with a camera — and the resulting photos are a crucial piece of evidence because, prosecutors argued, they keep Vernace in a mob timeline that dates back to a 1981 killing in Corozzo’s Ozone Park social club.

Vernace had beaten the murder charge in 1998 — but the photos show that eight years later, the wiseguy, who is now a member of a panel running the crime family, is still with Corozzo and capo Alphonse Trucchio in a criminal enterprise and worthy of a racketeering conviction, prosecutors argue.

Joseph "JoJo" Corozzo was one of the mobsters who met Bobby Vernace at a Forest Park playground.

The case begins on April 11, 1981, when Vernace, then a low-level hood, was hanging out at Corozzo’s club when another mob associate called on him to go to the Shamrock Bar to exact revenge over a spilled drink, authorities say.

The bar owners were shot in cold blood and a key witness, bartender Joseph Patrick Sullivan, was scared into silence for three decades by Ronnie One Arm Trucchio, authorities say.

But last month, Sullivan admitted he lied to cops and jurors for more than three decades about who was responsible for the senseless murders of Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese by Gambino gangsters.

This week, as the jury resumes deliberating the charges against Vernace, agent Conrad’s walk in the park may seal the deal.

“That was certainly fortuitous,” widow Catherine Godkin said of Conrad’s stroll. “He’s my hero.”



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