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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Big Ang's cousin provides lively testimony at gun trial

At times Luigi Grasso’s story meandered off course and he sounded more like a Martin Scorsese character at a bar than a witness at a criminal proceeding.
He did nuttin’. End of story.

“Mob Wives” relative Luigi Grasso (aka Ronnie Petrino) had sumthin' to say to jurors at his Manhattan gun trial on Wednesday — he ain’t guilty.

Grasso — cousin of busty Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, star of the VH1 series about mob family life in Staten Island — took the stand at his 2011 weapons possession case, nonchalantly telling jurors he was innocently meeting a business associate when he was cuffed and collared.

“All of a sudden, miraculously, a gun popped up — I was in shock!” said the federal convict, who is serving a 38-year sentence for participating in a robbery with Hector "Junior" Pagan, the ex-husband of Renee Graziano, another star on the show.

Prosecutors say he also had zip ties, ammo and other suspicious items when the NYPD's Organized Crime Unit arrested him on Second Ave. four years ago.

He insisted — in lively testimony — that his personality accounts for the incriminating recorded calls in which he discussed apparent threats against a foe and mentioned being “loaded up.” He said that really meant that he was doped up on medication.

“This is New York. New York has a certain kind of character. People talk a certain kind of way,” he explained.

“I'm an Italian-American. I guess I talk with a certain kind of accent, I'm told,” he went on.

Grasso is the cousin of Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, pictured, star of the VH1 series about mob family life on Staten Island.

At times the 48-year-old's story meandered off course and he sounded more like a Martin Scorsese character at a bar than a witness at a criminal proceeding.

“What do you want to know?” he repeatedly asked his lawyer, Alex Grosshtern, who was trying to get his client on track.

After his bust in the Manhattan gun case, he was bailed out and, he said, cops tore through his home while he was enjoying a morning soak.

They approached his wife's car and his daughter, who was on her way to school in Brooklyn, was also inside.

“They surrounded the truck and they says — where is he?” Grasso recalled. “I was upstairs in my Jacuzzi, just chillin.”

He said he was trying to “get myself together for the day” before going out to work, which he said involved checking on his various pizzerias, auto body shops and his wife's hair salon.

“I'm all over the place, I'm not in one place,” he said.

“Is there anything else you want to tell the jury right now?” Grosshtern said toward the end of direct examination.

Grasso, in his finale, shrugged his shoulders and got to the point.

“Youse all heard what they were saying about me — it ain’t true!” he said.

On cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Brian Rodkey confronted Grasso about his list of business ventures at the time of his arrest.

“I managed and I directed and I showed,” he said about his pizza trucks and storefronts where he also “did the sauce.”

“I didn’t let nobody touch my sauce. It was my grandmother’s recipe,” he boasted.



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