Monday, 19 March 2012

Trial of accused cop-killing Colombo gangsters opens in Brooklyn Federal Court

Accused cop-killing gangster Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli ascended to the top of the Colombo crime family as a reward for supervising a ruthless crew of mob hit men, a federal prosecutor said Monday. Gioeli is charged with six gangland murders, including the ambush of off-duty NYPD cop Ralph Dols in a racketeering trial that opened in Brooklyn Federal Court. His co-defendant, Dino (Little Dino) Saracino, is accused of three rubouts. "Gioeli and Saracino literally got away with murder for years because as professional killers that was their speciality," Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina Posa told the anonymous jury. "Thomas Gioeli was so good at managing his crew of killers, he was running the family in 2008," she added. But Gioeli and Saracino’s past has finally caught up with them, Posa said, promising that members of the murderous crew now cooperating with the government will take the witness stand and spill the secrets that have been buried - some literally - for decades. Gioeli, 59, wearing a sweater vest and navy blue dress shirt, smiled and gave the thumbs up to his elderly mother and family members sitting in the front row of the courtroom. The slain cop's mother also sat in the courtroom accompanied by uniformed cops from the Housing bureau. Saracino is accused of being part of the hit team that pumped seven bullets into the off-duty cop in front of his Brooklyn apartment building in August 1999. Dols was marked for death because he had married Kimberly Kennaugh, the ex-wife of then-Colombo acting boss Joel (Joe Waverly) Cacace, who felt disrespected that she was with a cop, Posa said. "(Cacace) wanted Ralph Dols dead and he turned to that man," the prosecutor said pointing at Gioeli, "to get it done." Besides Dols' murder, Gioeli is charged in the rubouts of Frank (Chestnut) Marasa in 1991; John Minerva and Michael Imbergamo in 1992; Richard Greaves in 1995 whose buried corpse was never found; and William (Wild Bill) Cutolo in 1999. Saracino, is charged with the murders of Dols, Greaves and Cutolo. Defense lawyer Carl Herman went on the attack against the FBI, the turncoat witnesses and even blamed Dols for having the "bad sense" to marry the ex-wife of a jealous gangster. Saracino's lawyer Sam Braverman ridiculed the government's cooperators as the "Fab Four." FBI agent Katherine Kelley testified that Cutolo's corpse was unearthed in a mob graveyard in Farmingdale, L.I., not far from where Gioeli resided. While excavating the site, the agents noticed the tip of Cutolo's Italian loafers protruding from the soil amid chunks of chemical lime. "I stuck my hand in and around the shoes and smelled what I believed was human decomposition," Kelley said.


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