Gregorio Gigliotti gave a two-thumbs up sign to family members minutes before the jury entered the courtroom, but the wife of his son Angelo Gigliotti apparently sensed it was going to be bad news and sobbed uncontrollably.
After deliberating three hours, the federal jury in Brooklyn found Gregorio, 60, guilty of all counts including possession of seven guns found in a safe in the basement of his Cucino a Modo Mio restaurant. Angelo, 36, was found not guilty of the gun charges.
Federal prosecutors Keith Edelman and Margaret Gandy argued that the Gigliottis smuggled cocaine to keep their restaurant and other businesses afloat.
The government's case was bolstered by a mountain of wiretap evidence in which the Gigliottis were intercepted discussing drug shipments from Costa Rica referring to the cocaine with absurd code words such as "pineapples" and "kitchens."
Gregorio Gigliotti's wife Eleonara has also been indicted in the case, but she is mentally unfit to stand trial at this time.
Gregorio, 60, was found guilty of all counts including possession of seven guns found in a safe in the basement of his Cucino a Modo Mio restaurant.
The Gigliottis are alleged to have ties to the Calabrian organized crime organization 'Ndrangheta, but that allegation was not disclosed to the jury.
Defense lawyers had allegedly tried to stack the jury with female jurors — a ploy to seek a panel that might be sympathetic to acquitting Angelo Gigliotti, government sources told The Daily News. As expected, Angelo's lawyer Alan Futerfas argued in his closing statement that the Gigliottis were "dominated by a man (Gregorio) engaged in all manner of schemes ... he manipulated his wife, he manipulated Angelo."
Gregorio Gigliotti’s lawyer Elizabeth Macedonio asked for a mistrial based on Futerfas' remarks, but Federal Judge Raymond Dearie shot back: "Were you surprised?" and denied the motion.
The family patriarch faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, and Angelo faces a mandatory 20 years behind bars because of his prior criminal record.