Persico, 53, and codefendant John "Jackie" DeRoss, were found guilty of conspiring to eliminate Cutolo in an effort to consolidate their power within the crime family. The Colombo clan had gone through a bloody civil war in the 1990s. Factions reportedly reached a cease-fire agreement, but Cutolo was a casualty of a lingering grudge.
Persico and DeRoss were found not guilty of charges related to the killing of crime family soldier Joseph Campanella.
Cutolo (left) was last seen on May 26, 1999. He was reportedly on his way to meet Persico in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Persico and DeRoss were first tried in connection with his assumed murder last year. That trial resulted in a hung jury.
For this year's trial U.S. Attorneys brought Cutolo's wife Marguerite to the stand. She directly accused Persico of causing her husband's death and refuted defense theories that Cutolo ran off with a fortune and was in hiding. Marguerite had been in the witness protection program since 2001.
"My husband never ran away," she said from the witness stand. "I'm appearing here for my husband, for his death."
Prosecutors provided bits of evidence indicating that Cutolo was killed and that his body was dumped off a boat at sea.Like his father, former Colombo boss Carmine "the Snake" Persico, now 74 and serving a life sentence for racketeering, Alphonse Persico is expected to spend the rest of his days behind bars.