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

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Paralyzed Gambino soldier denied compassionate prison release

A source said the Gambinos have not retired Edward "Cousin Eddie" Garafola, who could theoretically give orders to mob associates if he came home. Garafola, 77, is partially paralyzed and is unable to speak.

A convicted Gambino soldier, serving a 30-year sentence for conspiring to murder both his cousin and ex-underboss Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano, has been denied a compassionate release from prison — even though he is partially paralyzed due to a stroke, cannot speak, and is an amputee who must use a wheelchair.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons determined that Edward "Cousin Eddie" Garafola, 77, remains a threat to the community and is too dangerous to send home to Staten Island, the mobster’s wife of 56 years, Frances Garafola, told the Daily News.

“I wanted us to end our lives together,” Frances, 75, said. “I’m devastated. It’s heartbreaking.”

Garafola, a made member of the Gambino crime family since the 1970s, pleaded guilty in 2007 to participating in the 1990 gangland killing of his cousin Edward "The Chink" Garofalo because he was suspected of cooperating with the feds.

He also pleaded guilty to conspiring with former Gambino boss Peter Gotti in a failed 1999 plot to whack Gravano for ratting out the late Gambino boss John Gotti.

Frances Garafola — whose side of the family spells their surname differently from the murdered cousin — also happens to be Gravano’s sister.

Edward "Cousin Eddie" Garafola was denied early release in the 1990 Gambino slay of Edward "Eddie the Chink" Garofalo.

The Prison Bureau will consider a sentence reduction for elderly inmates who suffer from chronic or serious medical conditions that “diminish their ability to function” in jail.

He is due to be released in 2028, but since he’s been locked up, Garafola has suffered a heart attack, stroke, and had his leg partially amputated because of diabetes complications.

“He can’t speak, he can’t communicate, he has to be fed, and washed and dressed,” Frances said. “It must be costing the government a fortune to care for him.”

The Garafolas were so sure he would qualify for early release that they renovated their Staten Island home to make it accessible for him. But last month she received the bad news from his counselor at the federal prison hospital in Rochester, Minn. “He’s very sad and depressed,” Frances said.

Laura Garofalo, the daughter of the murder victim, said Cousin Eddie is where he belongs.

Edward "Eddie the Chink" Garofalo was killed in 1990.

“I can’t get a compassionate visit with my father,” she said Monday.

“I believe people who murder their cousins and get life in prison are a blight to society and taxpayers as a whole. I think when he decided to be a murderer he knew the consequences.”

A law enforcement source said Edward Garafola has not been “put on the shelf,” or retired by the Gambinos, and he could theoretically give orders to mob associates if he came home. “He was a real bastard back in the day,” the source said.

Edmund Ross, a Prison Bureau spokesman, declined to comment on the rejection because the compassionate release process is not considered public information.



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