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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Defense asks judge not to allow Sopranos photo during Colombo trial

He’s a reputed wiseguy accused of killing a Brooklyn cop — but his lawyer says his client’s reputation would really take a hit if he’s seen with stars of “The Sopranos.”
Brooklyn federal prosecutors gunning for alleged Colombo crime-family street boss Thomas “Tommy Shots’’ Gioeli and hit man Dino Saracino in the slaying of Officer Ralph Dols and five others asked a judge yesterday to allow into evidence a 2007 photo of Gioeli posing with members of the HBO mob series.
But Gioeli’s lawyer, Adam Perlmutter, protested to the judge, “To connect Mr. Gioeli with ‘The Sopranos’ television show is extraordinarily prejudicial.’’
After all, “[It’s] a television show about organized crime,’’ Perlmutter said.
Gioeli is joined in the photo by some unidentified actors and former Colombo captain Reynold Maragni, now an FBI informant expected to testify in the case, said prosecutors who wouldn’t release further details.
The snapshot was taken Dec. 22, 2007, at the now-defunct Mirage nightclub in Westbury, LI.
Believed to have been at the event — a fund-raiser for two former show crew members with cancer — were the biggest stars, including James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.
And wasn’t the first time that the Colombos and the “Sopranos’’ had gotten cozy.
Federico Catelluccio, who played mob enforcer Furio Giunta on the series, once turned to the family’s then-acting street boss, Andrew “Andy Mush’’ Russo, to help him recoup his investment in a failed New Jersey business, a source told The Post.
Judge Brian Cogan has yet to rule on whether the photo will be admitted.
The battle emerged after testimony yielded juicy details about a notoriously bloody time in New York mob history.
Taking the stand against Gioeli and Saracino was ex-Bonanno underboss-turned-rat Salvatore “Good-Looking Sal’’ Vitale.
Gioeli is accused of supervising the hit squad that killed Officer Dols as he and his wife and baby daughter were outside their Gravesend home in August 1997. Saracino was allegedly a member of the firing squad.
Dols’ crime? Falling in love and marrying Kim Kennaugh, the former wife of Joel “Joe Waverly” Cacace, a former Colombo consigliere, prosecutors say.
Cacace perceived his ex-wife’s marriage to a cop as the ultimate in disrespect and ordered the hit, they say.
Vitale described the internal chaos that the Colombos had been engaged in during the years leading up to Dols’ execution.
He said the Colombo power struggle was so self-destructive that at one point, the city’s four other crime families took the rare step of convening the New York Mafia Commission to meet with them.
“Bodies are all over the street, and legitimate people are getting killed. We can’t go on like this,” a ranking Genovese mobster told the Colombo bigs at the secret sit-down, according to Vitale.
Vitale said he and Gioeli were present, as was Cacace.
At another meeting, the feuding family was told to settle its internal strife, or the other families wouldn’t sign off on proposed new Colombo made men, Vitale said.
It was, “Get your act together,” Vitale explained.
Cacace is to be tried in the Dols slaying at a separate trial.


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