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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lawyer complains he is drowning in mob evidence

A lawyer for an accused mafia captain says federal prosecutors have committed a “document dump,” drowning the defense team in evidence so massive they are requesting more time to get their case together.
According to a memo filed in federal court Monday, defense counsel for Edward “Eddie” Lato, who is facing six counts in a sweeping organized crime case, wrote they have received 586 pages of documentation and 116 compact discs packed with photos, audio and other files.
Lato’s attorney, Mark Smith, wrote in the court filing that prosecutors have given him little guidance as to what relevant material is buried in the mountain of evidence.
“Counsel for the defendant is unable to decipher what materials on the disk would be relevant and relied upon by the Government,” Smith wrote in the filing.
The motion is asking U.S. District Court Judge William Smith for more time and to compel the government “to provide a more tolerable and meaningful roadmap.”
“Or to allow the defendant to utilize the Government’s ‘Rosetta Stone’in order to adequately prepare for trial without wasting inordinate amounts of time on material which will have no bearing on the evidence produced by the Government in its case in chief,” Smith wrote.
In the filing, Smith said prosecutors identified one CD in which much of the case against Lato will be based, but that single disc “contains 7,749 pages.”
Reached by phone, attorney Mark Smith called the filing self explanatory. Calls to the U.S. Attorney’s office have not yet been returned.
As Target 12 first reported, Lato, 64 of Johnston, was arrested by federal agents in September, accused in a RICO conspiracy case of shaking down area strip clubs for protection money. He was one of seven defendants charged in a superseding indictment.
According to the indictment, investigators accuse Lato of carrying on the shakedown scheme even after the reputed former mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio was scooped up in the first round of arrests in January.
In all, eight men have been arrested in Rhode Island as part of the national round-up into organized crime. Beside Manocchio and Lato, the accused are:
            -Thomas Iafrate
            -Theodore “Teddy” Cardillo
            -Richard Bonafiglia
            -Alfred “Chippy” Scivola
            -Raymond “Scarface” Jenkins
            -Albino Folcarelli
All but Iafrate – who entered into a plea agreement in July – have pleaded not guilty to the charges.



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