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

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vito Rizzuto Files For Early Release From Jail

Amid signs that the criminal organization he once led in Montreal is in serious trouble, reputed mob boss Vito Rizzuto has quietly filed for an appeal that, if successful, could see him be released from a U.S. penitentiary sometime this year.
Rizzuto, 64, is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Florence, Colorado. He received the prison term in 2007 after pleading guilty in a racketeering case, held in New York, involving the 1981 murders of three captains, or capos, in the Bonanno crime family in Brooklyn.
Under current federal sentencing laws, Rizzuto is eligible to be released on Oct. 6, 2012. But, in documents filed earlier this month to the United States Court of Appeals, Rizzuto argues his sentence should apply strictly to his actions in 1981, when inmates were released earlier for good behaviour.
In 1987, the U.S. government changed guidelines for federal sentences, increasing the time an inmate must spend behind bars to at least 85 per cent of a sentence from two-thirds. Under the previous guideline Rizzuto's release date would have been sometime this summer. Whichever guideline is right, Rizzuto would still be subject to three years of supervised release when he is returned to Canada.
In a document filed to the U.S. appeal court on Thursday, Rizzuto argues that he specifically pleaded guilty to what he did in 1981 and that he did not admit to being part of an ongoing racketeering conspiracy that the prosecution alleged ran from 1978 to 2004. Rizzuto's racketeering case was just one part of a broader investigation that targeted almost all members of the Bonanno crime family and produced several arrests in 2004. The prosecution alleged that Rizzuto was a soldier or associate in the New York-based organization which has had links to Montreal for decades.
Rizzuto's son Nick was murdered in Notre Dame de Grâce in December and his brother-in-law Paolo Renda remains a missing man after he was apparently abducted near his home on May 20. At the time he disappeared Renda was out on parole on a sentence he received in Project Colisée, a police investigation that devastated Rizzuto's organization with more than 80 arrests made in 2006.



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