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

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Accused mobster wont hear the word Mafia during trial

Prosecutors looking to pin breaking and entering charges on reputed mafia capo Mark Rossetti will find themselves in a curious position at next week’s trial — they won’t be able to detail to jurors the alleged honcho’s mob ties despite a state trooper’s testimony that Rossetti is known as a killer.

Judge Jeffrey Locke handed Rossetti and accused mob “associate” Yasmani Quezada a victory entering their trial in Suffolk Superior Court when he barred prosecutors from incorporating allegations Rossetti ran a stable of “soldiers” as a captain of the La Cosa Nostra crime family into the first of several cases against the accused East Boston crime kingpin.

Rossetti and 30 others were indicted in 2010 on charges related to an alleged three-county, mob-run crime ring, including extortion, drug trafficking, robberies and assaults. Next week’s trial, which is expected to begin Monday, only involves charges of breaking and entering with the intent to commit a crime in connection with a March 2010 break-in at a Hyde Park home.

State trooper Nunzio Orlando took the stand for two days of pretrial testimony, in which he said he knew of Rossetti’s reputed mob ties since he was “13, 14 years old,” and said Rossetti’s “reputation is he’s a killer, that he’s killed numerous people.”

But Locke noted that Massachusetts lacks a criminal organization, or RICO, statute, and that in taped conversations between Rossetti and others, there was no evidence Rossetti was handing down orders as a mafia captain.

“This so-called (La Cosa Nostra) is not directly relevant to any issue in this case,” Locke said. “It suggests, one is in the mob, then one is going to commit crimes. It adds a tremendous risk ... that is classic propensity evidence.”



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