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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trial Update: Vincent Basciano

Nicholas GaraufisImage via Wikipedia
The upcoming death penalty case of Vincent Basciano, featured in King of Godfathers in Chapter 28, is getting a bit melodramatic and interesting again. In recent court filings it has been revealed that Joseph Barone, a self described Bonanno and Gambino associate who recently escaped a racketeering conviction, wrote Judge Nicholas Garaufis, the judge handling Basciano's case. In his letter dated January 31, 2010, Barone said that it was he, working undercover inside the Bonanno family, who prevented a number of murders. Barone didn't tell Garaufis which murders were prevented but his lawyers said in different federal court filings that Barone provided the FBI with info about the alleged attempt by Basciano to assassinate Garaufis and prosecutor Greg Andres. That alleged plot involves the so-called "hit list" which Basciano said was merely a Santeria spell list.  Barone's letter to Garaufis asked him to help him with the treatment he was getting in jail. (Barone's attorney at one point wanted to subpoena Garaufis for the recently completed trial in Manhattan federal court).  Barone also wrote that his former girl friend is the star witness against Basciano but didn't mention any name.
    Having learned of Barone's correspondence with Garaufis and Barone's claim about the assassination plot, Basciano's attorney Robert Goltzer and others on the defense team asked for any all government records about Barone. Such information "is critical to counsel's preparation for Basciano's upcoming capital trial," said Goltzer to Garaufis in a letter last week. The defense has to have the material to investigate potential aggravating factors that could lead to a potential death sentence, said Goltzer. On August 13, Garaufis publically filed the letter sent to him by Barone.
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