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

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Two Staten Island mobsters released from prison due to coronavirus

Two Staten Island reputed mobsters were recently released from prison amid concerns of catching the coronavirus while behind bars, federal court papers show.
Both Eugene "Boobsie" Castelle, a Staten Island man and reputed soldier in the Lucchese organized crime family, and Daniel "Shrek" Capaldo, a Staten Islander and alleged Colombo crime family associate, asked to be released from prison on March 31.
Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered the release of Castelle “in light of defendant’s ailing health and concomitant risk to defendant from the COVID-19 pandemic” shortly after, court papers show.
Hellerstein granted Castelle release on bail while he is waiting for the outcome of his appeal on his 2019 conviction for his connection with an illegal gambling operation.
The 60-year-old reputed Lucchese soldier had detailed to his lawyer Richard Levitt an episode in which he fell ill while at the federal correctional institution in Danbury, Conn. -- where he recently returned after falling ill with pneumonia.
“I [started] to feel sick all over again with shortness of breath, back-ache, coughing again, but as [per] usual our concerns fall on deaf ears,” Castelle wrote. “The last time it took an act of God for the lieutenant to call 911 at 4 a.m. because three guys saw that I couldn’t breathe and I was coughing and choking my brain out.”
Castelle was released on April 3 to an undisclosed location on the condition that he “shall remain self-quarantined for 14 days after his release, subject to location monitoring,” court papers show.
On April 16, Hellerstein granted 14 additional quarantine days to Castelle as “he had been seriously ill during the first many days of his quarantine with symptoms suggesting COVID-19, but is presently improving,” his lawyer stated in a letter asking for the extension.
Capaldo, 55, was also released from prison, court papers show.
Capaldo, who was indicted among 20 suspects on wide-ranging charges of racketeering, extortion, loansharking and stalking, as well as attempting to fix an NCAA college basketball game, is also seeking release, court papers indicate.
Peter Guadagnino, Capaldo’s attorney, filed an emergency bail application on Sunday which indicates that Dr. Mazan Rabadi — who observed Capaldo’s medical records — believes Capaldo’s chance for survival if “infected with COVID-19 is poor.”
“I find that Mr. Capaldo suffers from underlying lung disease and he has used a bronchodilator for most of his life,” Dr. Rabadi wrote in a health assessment supporting Capaldo’s request. “If he contracts COVID-19, this will lead to him having severe bronchospasm which will lead to his respiratory failure, leading to intubation and being put on a respirator.”
Capaldo is was released to home incarceration and “restricted to home at all times, except for attorney visits, court appearances and medical treatment,” court records show.
Federal Judge Jesse Furman denied John Matera’s application to be released from prison after his lawyer said he was battling coronavirus.
Matera, 49, a reputed Gambino associate, pleaded guilty in September 2004 to racketeering conspiracy in connection with the murder of Frank Hydell, then 31, who was killed in front of the former Scarlett’s strip club in South Beach in 1998, Advance records show.
“Hey buddy and not to be crazy but I’m sick as a dog I have every symptom,” Matera wrote in an email to his lawyer, Seth Ginsberg, on April 1, before he tested positive for the coronavirus, court filings indicate. “No one is doing anything here can’t even see no one. Doctors are gone, they have social workers acting like doctors and there [sic] treating us like we did some thing wrong.”
Ginsberg stated in a letter filed on April 6 requesting his client’s release that Matera had tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at the correctional institution, which is “typically utilized for punitive reasons.”
“Indeed, the psychological effects of isolation are well documented under normal circumstances. In the present circumstances, where Matera is battling a life-threatening infection, being deprived of virtually all human contact, both physical and otherwise, is a terrifying prospect,” Ginsberg wrote.
Judge Furman did not agree with Ginsberg and deemed the motion to be released from prison “premature," he wrote in the letter denying Matera release.
“That is not to say that the Court is unconcerned about Matera’s condition,'' Furman wrote. "Even if, as the government represents, he has ‘a mild case of COVID-19’ and his current condition is ‘stable,’ the Court trusts that the government, including the Bureau of Prisons, will closely monitor Matera’s health and diligently take all necessary steps — medical, legal, or otherwise — to ensure that he receives appropriate care and does not expose other inmates or prison staff to danger.”



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