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

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

State Senator from Queens writes letter to judge asking to release jailed Bonanno soldier over COVID-19 fears

A state senator is going to bat for a violent mob loanshark who wants compassionate release after falling ill with COVID-19 during a massive outbreak in federal prison.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, a Democrat from Queens, is asking a judge to release Michael Padavona, a Bonanno soldier serving an eight-year federal prison sentence for racketeering.

Addabbo sent a letter on his official senate letterhead Oct. 29 asking for the release, calling him a “model inmate.” The letter appeared on the Brooklyn Federal Court public docket Monday.

“One factor on which I base my request is the lack of social distancing and other health measures being taken at Mr. Padavona’s quarters, making him susceptible to the rise in the positive COVID-19 cases at the site,” the state senator wrote.

“Personally, the other factor which urged me to make this request was the fact that Mr. Padavona has a wife and (five) children, who I understand he has not seen since the pandemic crisis began.”

Addabbo did not immediately return a message seeking comment Monday night.

Padavona is locked up in FCI Fort Dix in New Jersey, which was ravaged by coronavirus last month.

On Oct. 29, he asked for compassionate release, saying he had several “co-morbidities” that made him especially vulnerable to the virus: obesity, hypertensive heart disease and a history of testicular cancer.

A week later, his lawyer announced Padavona had the coronavirus. “He is currently alone in his cell with a fever and an extremely irregular blood pressure,” wrote Padavona’s lawyer in a Nov. 4 request the Padavona be released.

Convicted of racketeering in 2018, Padavona isn’t slated to be released until 2024.

Federal prosecutors say that for years he extorted several victims, most of them who owed money on sports bets, using threats and violence to keep them paying off the interest on their debts. One victim borrowed $90,000 from Padavona’s mob superior, Ronald Giallanzo, after his business was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Padavona also had a flunky take revenge on a girl his daughter was fighting with at school by burning the car of one of the girl’s parents, prosecutors say. He then paid the arsonist with a bottle of Vicodin.

Padavona has a tattoo of two skulls with the words “Morte Prima Di Disonore” — Italian for “Death Before Dishonor” — which prosecutors say shows his lifelong loyalty to the mob. Two of his fellow Bonanno associates have similar tattoos.

Federal prosecutors argued that he suffered “mild symptoms” and was being cared from by the prison medical staff, and contended that he shouldn’t be released three years early considering the severity of his crimes.

“At the hands of the defendant and his co-conspirators, people lost their homes and their businesses, and the Howard Beach community – to which the defendant plans to return – was plagued by the criminal activities of the crew,” prosecutors wrote in a Nov. 9 letter.

Padavona’s lawyer, Gerard Marrone, said keeping his client in prison would cause him “unnecessary suffering.”

“I think it’s absolutely unfair and extremely cruel to keep a short time defendant in jail while he has severe underlying health issues and then gets COVID while in jail,” he said. “The government is well equipped to have these individuals like my client to serve the remainder of their time under house arrest with an ankle monitor, etc..”



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