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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Competiello's guilty plea vanishes as hitman prepares to testify against mob boss Tommy Shots

A Colombo hit man’s guilty plea from three years ago has vanished like many of his victims.
Joseph "Joey Caves" Competiello pleaded guilty to two gangland murders in 2008 during a secret appearance in Brooklyn Federal Court. As part of the deal, he signed up as a government witness.
Competiello is now set to testify against his former crime family’s boss, Thomas Gioeli, in his murder and racketeering trial. But there’s a hitch — no one can find evidence of Competiello’s guilty plea, and Gioeli’s defense wants to know why.
The disappearance has forced a Brooklyn judge to convene an extremely rare hearing Monday to “reconstruct” that day in court.
Federal prosecutors said in court papers recently that no record — not even a transcript — of Competiello’s Dec. 15, 2008, appearance before Federal Judge Brian Cogan exists.
Cogan’s clerk at the time had no notation of which court reporter was present, and the court reporter who was assigned to the judge that week did not have notes of the proceeding on her stenograph machine, according to court papers.
Federal prosecutors say all of the current and former court reporters were polled, and none recalls being present for Competiello’s guilty plea.That explanation doesn’t satisfy Gioeli’s lawyers. They say the transcript of a cooperating witness’ guilty plea proceeding is crucial to cross-examining him. They also say the feds have taken a cavalier position to the foul-up by opposing a reconstruction of the event
“What the (prosecutor) said at Competiello’s plea and what Competiello’s counsel said at the plea are important pieces of information for the defense in this case,” lawyer Jane Simkin Smith wrote in court papers.
Prosecutors say Competiello pleaded guilty to murdering mob associates Carmine Gargano and Joseph Miccio, as well as cleaning up the gore at several other gangland killings. He drove a “crash car” at the ambush killing of off-duty NYPD cop Ralph Dols, who was allegedly marked for death by Cacace for marrying the gangster’s ex-wife.
Competiello is expected to testify this week against Gioeli and his co-defendant, mobster Dino "Little Dino" Calabro, in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Prosecutors say that a reconstruction hearing was only necessary in the rare case of a transcript missing where a defendant was appealing a conviction or sentence.


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