Wednesday, January 16, 2008

'Special measures' remain for jailed Basciano

"Special administrative measures" will remain in place for jailed crime boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, according to a story by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News.

Basciano (right), boss of the Bonanno Crime Family since early 2004, is held under restrictions normally reserved for terrorists. He must remain in his cell 23 hours each day. Strict limits are placed on outside contact, even with family members.
Ephraim Savitt, Basciano's defense attorney, had hoped the restrictions would be eased as he and his client prepare for an upcoming capital murder trial. Judge Nicholas Garaufis yesterday sided with prosecutors who want the special measures to continue. "I find that there is sufficient evidence of Basciano's dangerousness to justify the government's safety concerns," the judge wrote.

Already imprisoned on a May 9, 2006, racketeering conviction, Basciano was convicted July 31 of the February 2001 racketeering-related murder of mobster Frank Santoro.

In September 2006, jailed Basciano was found to be in possession of a short list of names. Prosecutors charged that it was a list of people the crime boss wanted killed. The list included Judge Garaufis, a federal prosecutor and some Bonanno Crime Family turncoats. Basciano denied the charge, arguing that he was urged by a fellow inmate to compile the list as a sort of religious magic charm. The special administrative measures were imposed immediately after discovery of the list.

Prosecutors say Basciano has managed to do considerable harm while in custody and must be isolated as much as possible. They claim he ordered the 2004 murder of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo while behind bars. (Joey Massino, an earlier boss of the Bonanno Crime Family, aided in the Pizzolo murder investigation by wearing an electronic surveillance device during a meeting with Basciano.) Basciano's approaching murder trial is related to the Pizzolo hit. Prosecutors also charge that, while in prison, Basciano plotted against Bonanno acting boss Michael "Mikey Nose" Mancuso. Mancuso (left) also is currently facing murder charges for the Pizzolo murder.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and 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.