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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Government's biggest rat set to make appearance at upcoming mob trial

Joseph Massino, 69, reportedly holds out hope that his service as an informant will one day free him despite his murder convictions. He is serving life without parole.
The Fed's biggest mob rat is being let out of his cage to testify against an elderly Genovese gangster at his upcoming extortion trial, the Daily News has learned.
Former Bonanno crime boss Joseph Massino will be making only his second appearance on the witness stand since he defected to the government side in 2004.
Massino was a devastating witness last year against Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano, his successor as Bonanno boss, and now the corpulent cooperator is ready to torpedo reputed Genovese captain Anthony “Rom” Romanello.
Federal prosecutors turned over Massino’s case file to defense lawyers Tuesday in preparation for opening arguments that are scheduled for Nov. 26.
“I look forward to showing the jury that a man who has been convicted of eight murders has very little credible testimony to offer,” Romanello’s lawyer, Gerald McMahon, told The News.
Massino, 69, is expected to provide expert-witness testimony about the mob, of which he has considerable and authoritative knowledge, having navigated those treacherous waters for more than four decades.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Dennehy previously stated in court papers that the government’s evidence includes “testimony regarding the rules, structure, hierarchy and protocols of La Cosa Nostra, particularly with respect to the Bonanno and Genovese crime families.”
He did not personally commit any crimes with the defendant, although they knew each other and Romanello had dined at Massino’s restaurant, CasaBlanca, in Middle Village, Queens, another source said.
Massino has emerged as a witness in the trial only in the past week, after Brooklyn Federal Judge Carol Amon expressed reservations about allowing testimony from a different mob rat about a sitdown with Romanello, sources said.
Romanello, 75, is charged with participating in the extortion of a Bonanno family associate who had failed to repay a $30,000 loan to a mortgage broker, who then sought Romanello’s help.
Massino was once known as the “Last Don,” but he cast aside his oath of omerta on July 30, 2004 — the day a federal jury convicted him of multiple murders.
After claiming to have knowledge that Basciano was plotting to whack a prosecutor, Massino agreed to wear a hidden wire in prison and recorded incriminating conversations that led to Basciano’s conviction.
Massino was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and is in poor health, but sources said he holds out hope that the government will someday make a recommendation to Judge Nicholas Garaufis for his release as a reward for his service as a rat.



Post a Comment