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

Friday, August 7, 2020

Judge sentences husband of Mob Wives star to more than 5 years in prison

“Mob Wives” star Drita D’Avanzo’s reputed mobster hubby was sentenced Friday to more than five years in prison after pleading guilty in Brooklyn court to being a felon in possession of a gun.
Drita was in the gallery as federal Judge Rachel Kovner gave her husband, Lee D’Avanzo, a twice-convicted bank burglar, 64 months in prison — well more than what prosecutors asked for — citing his lengthy criminal history and the seriousness of his crime.
Prosecutors had recommended just 37 to 46 months.
“The defendant had two guns in the house with his kids, and they were loaded with hollow-point ammunition,” the judge said as Lee, 51, stood before her. “At the time, there was other contraband in the house.”
The judge also referenced Lee’s 2009 conviction for trying to break into a Staten Island bank vault using high-speed drills.
The proceeding was the first in-person hearing in the downtown Brooklyn courthouse since the coronavirus pandemic shut it down in March — and Lee’s loyal wife, 44, was in the gallery.
Drita — who starred on the VH1 reality-TV show for six seasons — penned a handwritten letter to the judge describing Lee as an “amazing father” to their two daughters.
“He has a family that is fully supporting him and hoping he comes home soon,” she wrote.
Lee was charged earlier this year with being a felon in possession after investigators executed a search warrant at his Staten Island home and found two Smith & Wesson firearms loaded with hollow-point bullets.
One gun was stashed in a kitchen cabinet above the refrigerator, while the other was under the couple’s mattress in their master bedroom.
Authorities also seized an assortment of pills, as well as more than a pound of marijuana in a kitchen cabinet that could be accessed by their then-12 year-old daughter, officials said.
Initially, Drita and Lee were hit with a slew of charges in Richmond County Court — including criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
After the feds swooped in and busted Lee over the incident, the Richmond County DA dropped the charges against the couple.
As part of a plea bargain in Brooklyn federal court, he copped to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The couple’s criminal entanglements have lived up to the show’s storyline, which followed a group of Staten Island women with relatives in the mob.
Hot-tempered Drita, who starred on the series until it was canceled in 2016, was known for on-air brawls with her nemesis, Karen Gravano — the daughter of Sammy the Bull.
On her bio page for the show, Drita is described as the wife of Lee, a low-level mobster “who federal prosecutors allege is the leader of a Bonanno and Colombo crime family farm team.”
According to a friend who wrote a letter to the judge asking for leniency, Lee’s father was murdered when he was 7, and that trauma sent him down the wrong path.
Lee’s rap-sheet has spanned 18 years, and he has served time for assaulting a victim with a lug wrench, two bank burglaries and narcotics trafficking, according to federal prosecutors.
He has six criminal convictions, including four felonies.
Lee still faces charges in Monmouth County Court in NJ for conspiracy to possess marijuana and possession of marijuana, according to court papers.



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