Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Colombo's sons head to trial this week

The racketeering conspiracy trial of Anthony (right) and Christopher Colombo, sons of slain crime boss Joseph Colombo, will begin this week, according to a story by Thomas Zambito of the New York Daily News.

The brothers are charged with running an offshoot of the Colombo Crime Family that engaged in extortion and loansharking. Prosecutors say the Colombos were squeezed out of the Mafia clan that continues to bear their surname and started up an operation known as the Colombo Brothers Crew.

In pretrial hearings, defense attorney Aaron Goldsmith asked that prosecutors be forbidden from mentioning the Mafia organization or Joseph Colombo's role in it. Goldsmith argued that such mentions would unfairly prejudice a jury. Prosecutors argued that the Colombo brothers themselves revealed their family connections in order to intimidate their victims.

With the approval of boss of bosses Carlo Gambino, Joseph Colombo (left) took over the old Profaci family after the deaths of Joseph Profaci and successor Joseph Magliocco in the early 1960s. Colombo was a highly visible organizer of Italian unity causes and publicly insisted that he was being targeted by the FBI solely because of his ethnic background. It is believed that other crime bosses were alarmed at his courtship of the press and arranged for his assassination. Colombo was mortally wounded in a 1971 shooting. He remained in a coma until his death in 1978.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.