Monday, January 15, 2007

Ailing Cuban mobster gets 20 years

Jose Miguel Battle Sr., once the boss of a Cuban-American criminal organization and a veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to a story by Jay Weaver of the Miami Herald.

Battle, 77, was leader of "The Corporation," a criminal group controlling rackets in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Latin America. He is widely known as the master of the "bolita" lottery-style racket. He has been in custody since 2004. Last May, he pleaded guilty to a racketeering career spanning four decades. (Click for Battle biography on Wikipedia.)

Prosecutors speculated at that time that the ailing crime boss might not live long enough to be sentenced. He reportedly suffers from renal (kidney) failure and problems with his heart, liver and lungs. A part of a plea deal, sentencing was to be indefinitely postponed and Battle released on bond, so he could die at his home rather than in prison.

His son, Jose Miguel Battle Jr., faces sentencing in March.

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I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; 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.