Friday, February 1, 2008

Galante wants racketeering charges tossed

Citing possible tainted wiretap evidence and charging that prosecutors have used "highly prejudicial phrases," defense attorney Hugh Keefe has asked a federal judge to dismiss at least some of the charges against western Connecticut garbage czar James Galante, according to a story by John Pirro of the Danbury CT News-Times.

Galante was arrested in 2006 along with 28 other individuals charged with participation in a "property rights" scheme to eliminate competition and to control pricing in the waste hauling industry.

Genovese Crime Family bigshot Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello was among those indicted. Prosecutors say Ianniello received regular payments from the hauling firms allied through the property rights racket. Ianniello pleaded guilty in December 2006. Many of the other defendants have reached plea deals. Galante, who faces more than 100 counts related to racketeering, extortion, wire fraud and witness tampering, maintains his innocence.

Keefe argued that prosecutors improperly obtained authorization for a telephone wiretap that yielded much of their evidence. He also insisted that the indictment used phrases like "mob tax" and "tribute payment" to link Galante with organized crime and inflame potential jurors in the case.

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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.