Friday, April 6, 2007

South Florida racketeers get jail time

Three South Florida men accused of working in league with the New York-based Genovese Crime Family were sentenced March 30 to prison terms and supervised release, according to an AP account published in the Gainesville FL Sun.

Mitchell Wiessman, 54, was sentenced to 97 months (about eight years) in prison and a subsequent two-year substance abuse program. Joseph Dennis Colasacco, 55, will serve 73 months (about six years) before heading into two years of anger management courses. Charles Steinberg, 31, has two years of gambling counseling to look forward to as he serves his 41 months (nearly three and a half years) in prison.

The three men pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy. Wiessman and Colasacco were facing possible 100-year terms if convicted after trial on the charges against them.

Wiessman, Colasacco and Steinberg were arrested in June 2006 along with four other men, including a reputed Genovese soldier, 96-year-old Albert "Chinky" Facchiano, and a reputed local capo, Renaldi Ruggiero, 73. The other men charged in the case were Clement Santoro of New York and Francis J. O'Donnell of Cooper City, FL. All the defendants reached plea arrangements. Ruggiero's plea deal included his acknowledgement that he served as a capo in the Genovese organization.

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
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.