Former New York mob boss Joseph Massino wins early release from prison

 

Mobster Joseph Massino. defendant in the Rastelli-Bonanno family trial.  Credit: NY Daily News via Getty Images
Mobster Joseph Massino. defendant in the Rastelli-Bonanno family trial.
Credit: NY Daily News via Getty Images

Joseph Massino, the first boss of a New York organized crime family to break the code of silence and testify against a former associate, will be released from prison early for helping the government, according to federal court documents.

Convicted of eight murders, Massino, the 70-year-old former head of the Bonanno crime family, will be set free in 60 days, giving the government time to make arrangements for his safety, his lawyer Edward McDonald told Reuters on Thursday.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office said Massino’s release is unrelated to the indictment of several members of the Bonanno crime family they announced earlier this week.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis reduced Massino’s two life sentences to time served after a hearing on Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

Massino has spent a little more than 10 years in prison. Until he began cooperating with officials, he had faced the death penalty at the direction of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, which described him as one of the most powerful members of the Mafia at the time of his arrest in 2003, had asked that his sentence be reduced.

It said in a legal motion that his cooperation as the first mob boss to testify publicly against a crime associate was an important milestone in the Department of Justice’s efforts to dismantle the crime syndicate known as La Cosa Nostra.

“His testimony sent a powerful message to the criminal world that the Mafia is not an organization with honor, but a criminal society that feeds off of murder, violent crime and victimization,” the government wrote in court papers.

While imprisoned, Massino recorded conversations with an acting boss of the Bonanno family, which detailed threats against an assistant U.S. attorney, described various murders, told of bribing law enforcement officials in the 1960s and provided information about hundreds of members of organized crime families, according to the legal documents.

That information was used to prosecute 10 criminal cases and in the investigation of four successive leaders of the Bonanno family, the government said in court documents.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

In the legal motion, the office said it expected Massino to continue to provide assistance in future criminal cases.

“Without cooperating witnesses like Massino, all too often these crimes go unsolved and those responsible unpunished,” the government said in court papers.

The one-time Bonanno boss was expected to be moved and to receive a new identity as part of the government’s witness protection program, his lawyer McDonald said.

McDonald, who was once a U.S. attorney who prosecuted Massino on a racketeering charge in 1986 and is now a private attorney defending him, said Massino was ill and had many health problems. He didn’t provide details.

“Mr. Massino’s serious health problems almost certainly limit his longevity significantly,” McDonald wrote in a legal motion.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Bernadette Baum)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.