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

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Federal judge once again denies early release request for Staten Island man linked to mob murder of jeweler


A federal judge has once again snubbed the early-release bid of a New Dorp man serving a stiff sentence for his role in the mob-linked slaying of a jeweler in West Brighton 13 years ago.

Brooklyn federal court Judge Carol Bagley Amon declined to reconsider her March 10 decision rejecting John "Wizzie" DeLutro’s request for compassionate release.

In her most recent ruling filed two weeks ago, the judge said DeLutro, in his pro-se request, had failed to show “extraordinary and compelling” reasons justifying early release.

After the March denial, DeLutro had written the judge asking that she re-evaluate her decision.

In a hand-printed eight-page letter, DeLutro told the judge he was “actually innocent” and was “force(d)” by his lawyer at the time, his father and uncle into taking a plea.

In February 2010, DeLutro pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to robbery conspiracy in connection with the fatal shooting of Louis Antonelli, 43, on April 29, 2008, outside El Sabor Tropical restaurant.

The victim had a basement storage area at 280 Broadway and was expected to be carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gems, said Brooklyn federal prosecutors.

Authorities said DeLutro had been scouting out the restaurant. Besides keeping an eye on the area, DeLutro was in “near-constant” telephone contact with one of his accomplices, said prosecutors.

A co-defendant, Charles Santiago, shot the victim before fleeing empty-handed with another man, said authorities.

“I am human, Your Honor, and I was scared and bullied into taking a binding plea to save me from a life sentence, a life sentence I could never get,” wrote DeLutro, who is in his mid-40s.

DeLutro implored Amon to reduce his 20-year sentence.

“I ask for house arrest, more probation, ankle bracelet, anything,” he wrote.

Authorities allege the defendant has ties to the Genovese crime family.

Amon, however, said DeLutro had previously made the same argument to her years ago. She denied his habeas corpus petition in 2014.

A federal appellate court upheld the rejection the following year, she wrote.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit deemed the defendant’s appeal “frivolous,” wrote Amon.

DeLutro also contended early release was justified by disparities between his sentence, which is longer than the sentences of co-defendants in the case.

He contended he played a lesser role in the episode.

However, Amon said those individuals received shorter prison terms because they had cooperated with the government or had been convicted of different crimes.

“Although DeLutro may disagree with this conclusion, he has not identified any data or legal authority that I overlooked in reaching it,” wrote the judge.

DeLutro has appealed Amon’s ruling.



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