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

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fire puts off alleged mob drug ring leader's plea

English: FBI mugshot of Cosa Nostra criminal A Massachusetts man authorities say was a leading member of the New York Colombo crime family tried for the third time to plead guilty to racketeering charges Thursday, but a transformer fire in the federal courthouse forced postponement of the proceeding.
Ralph DeLeo, 69, of Somerville had just admitted conspiring with others to run a drug ring that sold cocaine and marijuana in Arkansas, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and New York when the hearing came to an abrupt end. The lights went out briefly and fire alarms sounded in U.S. District Court. The building was evacuated. There were no reports of injuries.
DeLeo's lawyer said the hearing would be rescheduled. No date was immediately set.
Twice over the last month, DeLeo's change-of-plea hearing has been postponed, once because of DeLeo's health problems and once because of a scheduling conflict.
Before the interruption Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Moran outlined what prosecutors said they would have proven if DeLeo had chosen to go to trial rather than plead guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon.
Moran said DeLeo was a made member of the Colombo crime family and was "acting street boss" for most of 2009. Moran said DeLeo led a group known as the "DeLeo Crew" that ran drug trafficking, extortion and loan-sharking operations.
In response to questions from U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock, DeLeo said he did not disagree with the prosecutor's description of his crimes.
"Is that what happened?" Woodlock asked.
"Yes," DeLeo replied.
The hearing ended before DeLeo formally entered the plea to the charges.



Post a Comment