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

Monday, January 3, 2011

Attorney of man accused of working with Lucchese crime family seeks indictment dismissal

The attorney for an alleged high-ranking member in the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the Bloods gang is seeking to dismiss an indictment accusing the suspect of working with the Lucchese crime family to smuggle drugs and cell phones for fellow inmates at East Jersey State Prison.
Edwin Spears, 36, of Neptune, allegedly participated in the conspiracy during the summer of 2007. His attorney, William Johnson, contends that records of Spears’ activities in prison may no longer be available and prosecuting the case at this point would violate his right to a speedy trial.
During a hearing today in Superior Court in Morristown, Johnson pointed out that the state Department of Corrections normally retains records for just three years. Logbooks may show that searches of Spears’ prison cell did not turn up contraband such as a cell phone, Johnson said. Those records could help exonerate Spears, and without them the case might be “prejudiced” against him, Johnson argued.
Judge Thomas Manahan told Johnson to issue a subpoena to get the records. He scheduled a hearing for Jan. 21 on the motion to dismiss the indictment.
Johnson also sought to reduce Spears’ bail from $250,000 to $50,000. Manahan cut the bail to $125,000, with no 10 percent option, citing Spears “self-admitted involvement in the Bloods.” Spears has finished his state prison sentence and is now being held at the Morris County jail.
Arguing for the bail reduction, Johnson pointed out that Spears can live with his parents in Neptune and has a record of employment there. He also produced a letter from the Rev. Herman Scott of Calvary Baptist Church in Morristown, who has visited Johnson in prison and said he has “a bright future ahead of him.”
Scott said he has counseled Spears about his struggle with his legal problems and said he can “return to life as a productive citizen, with our support.”
Deputy Attorney General Christopher Romanyshyn opposed the bail reduction. He pointed out that Spears committed the alleged crimes while he was incarcerated and admitted to them in wiretapped conversations.
Spears is accused of forming an alliance with reputed Lucchese associates Joseph Perna and Michael Cetta to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the prison through his brother, Dwayne Spears, and through former corrections officer Michael Bruinton.
The five men are among 34 defendants facing indictments accusing them of being part of a Lucchese racketeering operation that allegedly ran an international gambling ring and money laundering during a 15-month period that ended in December 2007.



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