Anthony Russo a former capo in the Colombo crime family who turned on his fellow mobsters hoped his cooperation would buy his freedom. Wednesday he was rewarded with just that as he was sentenced to time served and released into the witness protection program. He served 53 months in prison before being sentenced Wednesday a very small price for a life of crime. Russo was facing a sentence of life in prison after his 2011 arrest before deciding to roll over on more then a dozen of his former mafia pals. As part of his agreement with government Russo detailed his criminal career and admitted to doing everything from selling stolen goods to his part in a murder plot.
Russo was part of a hit team in 1993 that whacked then Colombo family underboss Joseph Scopo during the bloody Colombo family war. Scopo was gunned down in front of his home in Queens as the rival factions one loyal to Carmine Persico and another loyal to Victor Orena battled for control of the family. Russo was the getaway driver for the hooded gunmen who whacked Scopo. Russo told judge Kiyo Matsumoto that he was sincerely sorry for all the suffering and pain he caused and there was no excuse for his actions. He then said he had to cooperate despite the fact that he would now be labeled a traitor in the mafia world where traitors are murdered. Russo said he will have to live the rest of his life in fear but he needed to protect him family and keep them together.
Judge Matsumoto noted Russo’s criminal past and the severity of it that of which included murder before then calling his testimony against his former New York mafia crew as extraordinary. As he was sentenced to time served Russo wearily dropped his head.