Over 40 accused mobsters from various organized crime families who are allegedly part of an “East Coast LCN Enterprise” packed a federal courtroom in Manhattan.
They are charged with various crimes including racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, and health-care fraud to name a few. The case included so many bodies they had to move the proceedings into Manhattan federal court’s ceremonial courtroom which is typically reserved for naturalization proceedings. The defendants took up 14 rows and the jury box which was reserved for those suspects who were not getting bail which included the reputed Genovese family Bronx capo Pasquale Parrello who the feds claim was a leader of the organization along with fellow Genovese capo Eugene O’Nofrio and reputed Philly mob boss Joey Merlino.
The prosecutors informed the defendants that they had collected 800 recordings from cooperators and wiretaps which had been placed in 15 different phones. The staggering amount of material could take months to get into the hands of the defendant’s lawyers according to the report. The defendants are allegedly linked to four of the five families of the New York mafia including the Genovese, Lucchese, Gambino, and Bonanno families and the Philadelphia mafia was said to be rather upbeat considering the circumstances.
When the judge greeted the courtroom with a “good morning” alleged mobster Bradford Wedra said, “Make it a wonderful morning, Your Honor, and dismiss the case,” drawing laughter from the judge and crowd. But this Cosa Nostra case is no laughing matter as many of the defendants face stiff prison terms if convicted even though some are calling this a “racketeering lite” case. Feds will try and prove the defendants worked together as part of what they are calling an “East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise” stretching up and down the East Coast.