Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gotti trial moved back to New York

Suggesting that U.S. prosecutors have engaged in "forum shopping," U.S. Judge Steven Merryday yesterday ruled that John A. "Junior" Gotti's latest racketeering trial must be moved from Tampa, FL, to New York City, according to a story by Thomas Zambito of the New York Daily News.

Gotti (left), 44, was indicted in Tampa for three racketeering murders and drug trafficking. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in August. Federal prosecutors, who have failed to win convictions in three racketeering cases against him in New York, hoped for better luck in Tampa. Gotti was arrested and transported to Tampa, where he has been held without bail.

Gotti's attorneys argued that a trial in Tampa would be a large financial burden on the Gotti family. They noted that nearly all the charges against their client were based on incidents in New York.

In Judge Merryday's decision, he outlined the repeated frustrations of federal prosecutors and stated that the Justice Department's decision to try Gotti in Florida "creates the unmistakable and disquieting impression of forum shopping."

Gotti is the son of former Gambino Crime Family boss John J. Gotti, who was known for a time as the Teflon Don for his ability to escape prosecution.

Calabrese waits in solitary for sentencing

Frank Calabrese Sr., 74, convicted of racketeering murders in last year's Family Secrets trial in Chicago, now awaits sentencing in solitary confinement, according to a story by Steve Warmbir of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Calabrese (right) was placed under strict lockdown measures at the Metropolitan Correctional Center after twice allegedly threatening a U.S. prosecutor. He is isolated from fellow prisoners and is only permitted visits by three members of his immediate family.

He is scheduled for sentencing next week.

About Me

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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.