Thursday, October 9, 2008

Grasso killer's sentence is trimmed by 7 years

U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas agreed yesterday to reduce by seven years the prison term of Gaetano J. Milano, convicted killer of Connecticut Mafia big shot William "Wild Guy" Grasso, according to a report by Edmund H. Mahony of the Hartford Courant.

Milano, now 56, was sentenced in 1991 to 33 years in prison. With the reduction in sentence, he has about four more years to serve. Judge Nevas considered reports that Milano has been a model prisoner.

In 1989, Grasso was the top man in the underworld of New Haven, CT. He was considered second in command of the Boston and Providence-based New England Mafia, and he might have been contemplating a move up. The 62-year-old was shot to death within a van on Interstate 91 in June 1989. His body was dumped along the banks of the Connecticut River in Wethersfield.

Patriarca Jr. and MercurioEvidence was produced to show that Milano believed Grasso was preparing to kill him. Angelo "Sonny" Mercurio (FBI surveillance photo shows Mercurio, right, walking beside New England boss Raymond Patriarca Jr.) reportedly planted that idea in Milano's mind in order to manipulate him into killing Grasso. Government investigators knew of Mercurio's role but did not reveal it at Milano's trial because they were protecting informant Mercurio. When the coverup was revealed it provided defense attorneys with grounds to appeal Milano's sentence. Family members had hoped that Milano's sentence would be reduced to time already served. Mercurio died in 2006 while in the witness protection program.

Others charged with complicity in the Grasso murder included Frank and Louis Pugliano and Frank Colantoni Jr., according to a story by Stephanie Barry of the Springfield MA Republican. Mercurio

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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.