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

Monday, April 17, 2017

Judge is concerned about the safety of witnesses in Bonanno family case

Brooklyn prosecutors and lawyers for 10 reputed mobsters squabbled Monday over recordings that will reveal the identities of cooperating witnesses — as a federal judge expressed concern that mismanagement of the tapes could result in those very witnesses getting whacked.

“The concern is the ultimate witness tampering — that a witness actually dies,” Brooklyn federal court Judge Dora Irizarry told the lawyers for alleged acting Bonanno capo Ronald Giallanzo, the nephew of aged and admitted wiseguy Vincent Asaro, and his cohorts.
Ronald Giallianzo, nephew of Vinny Asaro

Giallanzo, 46, and the others were pinched last month on various charges, including loansharking, gambling, kidnapping, and attempted murder.

Prosecutors say the racket has run out of Howard Beach, Queens, for the past 20 years and are requesting that Judge Irizzary issue an order which will allow the defendants to only hear the 21 recordings in the presence of their lawyers so as to deter the evidence passing into the wrong hands.

But “the cat will be out of the bag as soon as we listen to the recordings,” argued lawyer Seth Ginsberg, who represents purported Bonnano associate Robert Pisani. “Then the identities of these so-called victims will be known.”

Prosecutor Nicole Argentieri countered that, in Howard Beach, a hard-copy recording could make a life and death difference for the victims and their families.

“In this neighborhood, there is a difference between having people call someone a cooperating witness, and then having a tape circulating that proves that,” she said.

Irizarry indicated she will rule “fairly quickly” whether the requested order is necessary.

Giallanzo allegedly became acting cap​o in 2014, after his first cousin, Jerome Asaro, was nabbed and thrown behind bars.

The purported captain soon began making piles of money through stock fraud schemes​ ​–​ ​for which he served 87 months in prison​ ​–​ building a loansharking network worth around $3 million, according to court papers.

While out on bail for his 2006 stock fraud case, Giallanzo and others tried to kill a man he suspected of robbing him, the papers say.

Around the same time, the alleged mobster had an unidentified associate bring him a customer who was behind on his payments and beat the customer until he soiled himself, as Giallanzo screamed “Where’s the f—ing money?” authorities say.

The defendants are set to return to court June 23.



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