Prosecutors continue their case against alleged members of the Bonanno crime family charged with running what was labeled as old school mafia rackets.
Nicholas Santora, Anthony “Skinny” Santoro, Vito Badamo, and Ernest Aiello are all charged with enterprise corruption including loansharking and illegal gambling. According to prosecutors Santora a Bonanno family captain and former underboss headed the mafia crew, in which the defendants were part of. They were busted back in 2013 during an investigation aimed at dismantling the nine man Bonanno family crew. The trial began in February and prosecutors have continued to build their case which includes previous busts and the testimony of mob turncoats.
“Left to Right: Vito Badamo, Ernest Aiello, Anthony Santoro, Nicky Santora“
Prosecutors laid out details of a previous bust, which took place at the home of alleged mobster Anthony Santoro, which they claim connects him to the New York mafia family. According to the report back in 2012 police busted in on Santoro and his girlfriend at home recovering over a dozen guns, wads of cash, and drugs. But the defense claimed the residence and a car that was searched actually belonged to Santoro’s girlfriend and the evidence found belonged to others who resided in the home. None of the guns found could be traced back to any crimes and the defense brought attention to the lack of any DNA evidence or fingerprint testing done with the recovered weapons.
Prosecution witness and self proclaimed mob associate Anthony Zoccolillo made his way to the stand ratting on his former wiseguy pal Ernest Aiello. Zoccolillo testified to the details of his lifestyle as a mob associate before he decided to become an informant for the feds after being busted for drugs back in 2013. He claims that Aiello, who he hung around and was friends with when they lived in the Bronx was a made man in the New York mob and particularly the Bonanno family. He also testified that he and Aiello managed multiple illegal betting sheets and it was Aielli and identified him on audio recordings discussing the illegal gambling rackets. Zoccolillo wore a wire for the feds before being relocated into the witness protection program. But the defense attacked his credibility calling him a wannabe.
The trial has already seen testimony from mob snitch James “Louie” Tartaglione one of the prosecutor’s key witnesses along with that of Zoccolillo. The trial is expected to last until at least April as the prosecution continues to try and make its case and secure convictions across the board.