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

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Volatile Gambino associate gets another 6 years for sending lawyer death threats

A reputed Gambino associate earned himself another 6 ¹/₂ years behind bars on Thursday for sending his attorney threats from jail — despite groveling to a Brooklyn judge that he’s a changed man and wouldn’t do it again.
Batiste “Benny” Geritano, 46, apologized for using the prison mailing system to threaten to behead his former lawyer’s son, telling Brooklyn federal court Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. that he teaches yoga and tutors English as a second language to other inmates.
“I want to apologize … for the letters I sent. Had it been today, I would not have dropped that letter in the mail,” he said in court. “I would’ve dropped in the toilet bowl.”
Geritano tried to tug at the judge’s heartstrings, telling him that when he sent the letter in February 2017, he had just been diagnosed with heart failure and learned that his mom had cancer.
“I have made a tremendous change in my life your honor and it’s for the better,” the goon said.
In the jailhouse letter, Geritano blamed his 2012 attempted assault conviction on his then-attorney.
“You walked me into jail,” the letter begins, according to court papers. “If you and your son don’t get me the f–k out of jail very soon — your son’s head is going to come off his f–kin shoulders.”
Johnson wasn’t swayed by Geritano’s apology and imposed the maximum sentence — 72 months — allowed under federal guidelines.
The feds said Geritano deserved a 20-year sentence because of his history of “extraordinary violence.”
“They aren’t just words on paper. They’re words that are going to make people look over their shoulders their entire lives. People don’t deserve to live in that kind of fear,” argued prosecutor Matthew Jacobs.
In previously filed court documents, prosecutors alleged Geritano once played Russian roulette with his ex and their 4-year-old daughter in 1994 — putting a gun to the little girl’s head and pulling the trigger. The gun didn’t fire.
“This man has spent half of his adult life behind bars and every time he gets out he re-offends — often violently,” Jacobs said in court.
But Geritano’s lawyer, Jeremy Iandolo, accused the government of trying to “crucify” his client over the letter “that was written under duress.”
“Mr. Geritano suffers from bipolar [disorder],” Iandolo said. “He does not know how to express himself … but he does know right from wrong.”
Geritano is currently serving a 12-year sentence for stabbing another man in a 2012 bar brawl.
He notably dodged conviction for stabbing Mark Iacono, the owner of popular Carroll Gardens pizzeria Lucali, in a suspected love triangle.
The case was dropped after both Iacono and Geritano refused to cooperate with authorities.
On Thursday, Geritano claimed he was “falsely convicted” in the stabbing.
Geritano’s sentences will run consecutively. Johnson also recommended he attend an anger management program and counseling.
After the sentence was meted out, Geritano huffed to the judge, “I object to your sentence … this court is biased against me.”