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

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Federal judge refuses to grant bail for ailing Colombo Captain Vinny Unions

Vincent “Vinny Unions” Ricciardo, 75, was arrested and will be arraigned before United States...

A jailed Colombo crime family capo’s bid for bail was shot down by a federal judge.

Brooklyn Federal Magistrate Judge James Cho flatly rejected the appeal from lawyers representing ailing but still ornery 75-year-old Vincent Ricciardo, caught on wiretaps threatening to whack a union boss before his arrest last month for a massive union shakedown.

“The defendant is a significant danger to the community, given his history,” Cho ruled immediately after oral arguments Friday in a remote hearing. “There were allegations as recently as June of this year of threatening a witness ... and there’s a risk of flight.”

Arguments by defense counsel Kelley Sharkey about her client’s assorted health woes fell on deaf ears as prosecutors detailed Ricciardo’s 50-year association with organized crime and cited audio recordings of his violent threats made during the probe into a local labor union.

“We will send people he don’t know right to his f---ing house,” Ricciardo said in one conversation recounted by prosecutors. In another, Ricciardo appeared to reference his failing health in the midst of a threat to kill a union boss.

“Let me tell you something,” he declared. “To prove a point? I would f---ing shoot him right in front of his wife and kids. Call the police ... How long you think I’m gonna last anyway?”

The mob veteran — supposedly too weak to put on his own socks — was currently housed in the Mecklenburg County Jail in North Carolina pending his return to New York. He was one of 14 suspects, including reputed Colombo boss Andrew “Mush” Russo and his two top aides, busted last month in the Mafia takedown.

Federal prosecutor Devon Lash noted the defendant’s poor health did nothing to slow his role in the criminal conspiracy.

“He is a danger to (a union official) regardless of his medical condition,” said Lash. “What we’re talking about here is a longtime member of a violent organized crime family, and he has a leadership role.”

Sharkey detailed an assortment of medical issues facing the senior citizen gangster, including heart problems, kidney disease and severe breathing issues.

“He is a hot mess and I request the government allow us to proffer a bail package and allow the defendant to be released at this time to his wife in North Carolina while under medical care,” she said.

Prosecutors countered that this was the third federal labor racketeering case against Ricciardo, known as “Vinny Unions” among his mob friends. And Cho was hardly swayed by the defense contentions about the need to let the mobster return to his wife and home.

“Defendant is charged with multiple serious crimes of violence,” said Cho. “He threatened to kill someone ... This application fails to rebut the presumption that he should be detained.”



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