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

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Retrial set for Staten Island Bonanno mobster Skinny Santoro

Anthony Santoro, Vito Badano, Ernest Aiello
An alleged Staten Island Bonanno mobster will be tried again in April, almost a year after a judge ordered a mistrial in his case.
Anthony "Skinny" Santoro, of Great Kills, and his three co-defendants -- Vito Badamo, Nicholas Santora and Ernest Aiello -- are accused of enterprise corruption, including loansharking, gambling and drug dealing, after authorities reportedly busted an alleged Bonanno nine-man crew in July 2013.
The quartet is also charged with attempted grand larceny in the second degree, while Santoro, Badamo and Santora are facing an additional charge of first-degree criminal usury.
The trial is set to begin April 10 in Manhattan Supreme Court, said a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
After a three-month trial last year, the case ended in a mistrial in May due to juror dissension.
Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer granted the defense's request for a mistrial after one of the jurors told the court the rest of the jury was not considering his opinions, and felt they were only worried about getting a guilty verdict.
"I can't go on at this point," the juror told the court. "They're not listening to me. I can no longer sit there and listen to them anymore. I want to make sure what I render is just, not just because we don't want to be here anymore or we've been here for three months."
The shocking development came after Dwyer dismissed juror No. 1 from the jury  based on the panel's concern that he wasn't able to hear any of the wiretap calls played during deliberations.
A few jurors sent a note to the judge alleging that juror No. 1 said he was unable to hear the calls and refused to use the transcript binders for fear they were tampered with. The binders, the judge instructed the jury, are not evidence.
"It's a little bit frustrating because we're trying our hardest," one of the jurors said.
"He was able to hear just fine," juror No. 9 said. "He just kept getting attacked and they didn't like his responses."
However, when asked if he was able to follow the evidence, juror No. 1 said, "Yes."
But two jurors who spoke the Advance after the trial contend the two weren't always so harmonious.
"Throughout the process, juror No. 9 claimed he did not share the same opinions as juror No. 1, so we were surprised when he stated he could not continue deliberating after juror No. 1's dismissal," the two panelists said in a statement to the Advance last May.
Prosecutors say Santoro, who has been incarcerated for more than three years and is being held at a Manhattan facility, was a key player in the Bonanno family's gambling operation, allegedly setting the prices for drugs and deciding on opening and freezing gambling accounts.
The bulk of the state's case against him is the information intercepted from a series of wiretap calls, which implicate him using mob slang referring to illegal drug and gambling activities.
Santoro still has a pending federal case after pleading guilty to operating an illegal gambling business as part of a local Bonanno crime crew in Connecticut. In 2013, he was sentenced to eight months and arrested in the Manhattan case before he could serve that time.



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