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

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Lawyer for 91 year old Genovese Consigliere covicted of John Gotti murder conspiracy requests compassionate release

 Louis Manna

The 91-year-old incarcerated mobster, whose been behind bars for more than 30 years after being convicted as a leader of the Genovese crime family and who put out a hit on John Gotti, is making another push to be released from federal prison.

In an emergency motion filed last month seeking compassionate release for Louis “Bobby” Manna, his attorney argued that the aging mobster is slowly dying in a Minnesota medical prison and deserves to spend the rest of his life with his family in Hudson County.

Manna has a “litany of health issues,” Jeremy Iandolo, Manna’s attorney, said during a hearing before a federal judge Thursday, including hypertension and Parkinson’s disease. He can no longer take more than a step or two on his own, the attorney said.

“After 33 years (in prison), the man has paid his debt to society,” said Iandolo, of Brooklyn.

Manna previously applied for compassionate release last year — a motion that was opposed by prosecutors and eventually denied by senior U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan.

Manna is in the midst of an 80-year prison sentence after being convicted in 1989 in New Jersey federal court for his role as the consigliere of the Genovese crime family, as well as placing a hit on mob boss John Gotti and his brother, Gene Gotti, and orchestrating the murder of a crime family associate. Also known as “The Thin Guy,” Manna was seen as one of the most experienced and powerful mob leaders in the country at the time, prosecutors said.

“Manna was a leader in the Genovese family, a street boss, who accomplished (La Cosa Nostra) goals through violence and intimidation,” Judge Sheridan wrote last year when he denied Manna’s motion for compassionate release. “Despite the fact that he is considered ‘frail’ and has some medical issues, the nature of his life as a career criminal and his leadership in the Genovese family outweigh his age and medical issues.”

Sheridan heard arguments Thursday on the latest motion and said he would have a ruling in a week or two.

Manna, who turns 92 in less than a month, was on the telephone for the court hearing Thursday. When asked if he wanted to address the court, Manna struggled to speak and said he would let his attorney speak for him.

Iandolo’s argument for Manna’s release centered around his deteriorating health, but also recent prisoners with similar circumstances to Manna who were freed by federal judges under compassionate release.

The attorney pointed to Eddie David Cox, an 86-year-old former Kansas City mob leader who was released from prison due to the COVID-19 pandemic after more than three decades in prison. Cox was also serving an 80-year sentence.

Iandolo also noted that William Underwood, the leader of a 1970s Harlem heroin trafficking gang who was serving a life sentence, was released by a judge in January. Criminal justice advocates had been pushing for the release of the 67-year-old.

“Why are only Italian Americans getting denied?” Iandolo asked after the hearing Thursday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Ramey told the judge he should stick with his ruling last year in denying Manna compassionate release.

Prosecutors, who have acknowledged that Manna is no longer a threat to society, previously argued that he should remain incarcerated as a deterrence to others. They have remained steadfast that he should serve the sentence he was given, which was to “spend the remainder of his natural life in prison,” prosecutors wrote last year.

Federal authorities once described Manna as “dangerous and evil” and touted his conviction as being a “tremendous blow to organized crime in New Jersey.”

Louis Manna

A breakdown of the Genovese crime family faction in New Jersey in the 1980s, according to the FBI.

During the three-and-a-half month trial in the late 1980s, prosecutors outlined Manna’s role in overseeing gambling, loansharking, and labor racketeering in the region. When federal authorities were able to bug an Italian restaurant in Hoboken, they learned Manna was using his power to take out his enemies.

They learned that he had ordered the 1987 hit on Irwin “The Fat Man” Schiff at a Manhattan restaurant. Manna and other Genovese figures believed Schiff was going to expose their criminal enterprise and would no longer run a more than $25 million money laundering operation for the crime family, according to court documents.

But Manna was planning something even more drastic. Authorities heard Manna select the individuals who were to participate in the “big hit” on Gotti, according to court documents.

“Well we are stuck behind Gotti,” Manna said. “Let’s hit the (expletive).”

A subordinate of Manna’s made it clear: “The f---in’' godfather ain’t getting’ home,” he said, according to court documents.

But federal authorities quickly foiled the plot when they alerted Gotti to the hit, and Manna was then charged in 1988 with crimes that would put him behind bars for decades to come.

Even in custody, Manna was so feared that the court used an anonymous jury, the first time ever in federal court in New Jersey at the time, due to the fear of retaliation for the jurors, according to news reports at the time.

But more than 30 years later, Iandolo has repeatedly argued that Manna is no longer a threat to society and deserves to be released as “his life is nearing the end.”

Iandolo said Manna would live with his stepson in Bayonne if the judge grants his release.

“(He wants to) have the rest of his time to spend with his children, grandchildren and any family that is still alive,” the attorney said.


1 comment:

  1. Gotti destroyed Cosa Nostra significantly, it's a shame Manna didn't succeed.