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

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Old school Bonanno mobster dies before retrial

An elderly Bonanno crime family boss ran out the clock on racketeering and other charges by dying before his retrial.
Nicholas "Nicky Cigars" Santora, 76, took a stumble after his release from jail on bail in December 2016 and was in declining health ever since, prosecutor Gary Galperin said in court Friday, as Santora’s case was officially closed.
Santora’s first trial on charges he he led the Bonannos in “old-fashioned” loansharking, gambling, drug dealing and other illicit acts ended in a mistrial in May 2016.
The jury in that trial deliberated eight days — but the case came to a halt after one juror claimed he “couldn’t hear” audio evidence the panel had been reviewing for days.

The hearing-troubled juror — who was the panel’s foreman — also complained that other jurors were ganging up on him and had their hearts set on conviction.
A new trial date was never set due to the wheelchair-bound geriatric goombah’s failing condition. He died Oct. 27.
Santora was among nine accused mob toughs busted in 2013 on a range of charges including peddling Viagra pills on the black market.
Santora maintained his innocence until the end while all of his co-defendants have pleaded guilty. Seven of his associates got prison sentences as high as nine years, prosecutors said.
Santora was caught on wiretap scolding associate Vito Badamo for “acting like a clown.” The younger man was set to “take over this neighborhood” and needed to “conduct yourself in a certain way,” the capo said.
“You gotta act like you're supposed to act. You understand?" he went on.
Santora’s case formally ended when his death certificate was presented to the court.
“The judgments of conviction against the other eight defendants shall stand for all time, an official testament to how old-school mobsters were overcome by old-time justice,” Galperin said at Friday’s hearing.



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