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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Colombo associate found not guilty in two gangland murders

A Brooklyn jury — apparently believing it was Col. Mustard whodunnit — acquitted a Clue-playing reputed Colombo mob associate Wednesday of two gangland murders.
The verdict — which came on the heels of the acquittal of Colombo crime boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli on six murder raps in May — was a stunning setback for federal prosecutors.
Francis "BF" Guerra covered his face with both hands, and his wife Angela wept loudly as the jury foreman found him not guilty of racketeering and of the murders of former underboss Joseph Scopo and Staten Island nightclub owner Michael Devine.
The ex-wife of the government's main witness had testified that Guerra was home playing the board game Clue when Scopo was whacked.
Federal Judge Sandra Townes seemed puzzled by the result, sending the panel back into the jury room so she could re-read the verdict sheet before it was announced publicly.
Townes, who was repeatedly accused by defense lawyer Gerald McMahon of bias against Guerra, even booted the defendant's 2-year-old son Maximus from the courtroom because he was talking loudly.
Earlier, prosecutor Nicole Argentieri - who is nine months pregnant - had complained to the judge that the cute-as-a-button toddler was waving to his father in front of the jury and worse, that Guerra was waving back to his son, sources said.
"The jury rejected the testimony of five fakers," co-defense counsel Mathew
"CQ" Mari said of the mob rats who implicated Guerra in a host of crimes.
Guerra was also cleared of extoring a Staten Island pizza maker he suspected of stealing the pizza sauce recipe from Guerra's in-laws, who own famed L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst.
He was convicted of five counts of peddling oxycodone painkillers and wire fraud — convictions which could carry up to 20 years in prison.
But Guerra's family members still celebrated outside Brooklyn Federal Court.
When the U.S. Marshals' prison bus passed the front door, the inmates were cheering inside and Guerra's face was pressed against the screen as he yelled with glee.


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