Martin Taccetta the former underboss of the Lucchese crime family has been sentenced to eight years in prison on racketeering charges. He was busted back in 2007 along with 32 other suspects in a probe called “Operation Heat” which targeted a mob run illegal sports gambling and money laundering scheme. According to authorities the operation brought in approx $2.2 billion dollars in a 15 month period and used violent means to collect outstanding debts. Taccetta copped a plea deal in the case admitting to the racketeering charges but refused to admit any role in violent acts associated with the case.
Taccetta is already serving a life sentence plus 10 years for a earlier racketeering conviction from Ocean County. He fought to get as short a sentence as possible from this new Morris County case as he is currently appealing his Ocean County life sentence to the U.S. Supreme Court and if successful wanted as short an added stint as possible. Defense counsel tried to convince Morristown Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent Ahto to give his client a more lenient three to six year sentence since he only copped to the gambling and money laundering charges and no violent acts. The judge saw fit to stick to the recommended eight year sentence.
A deep history in the New York Mafia and multiple court cases surely didn’t help Taccetta’s case for a lighter sentence. Along with his previous conviction on racketeering charges are two acquittals on murder charges one dating back to the 1984 golf club beating death of Vincent Craparotta. The Toms River resident allegedly refused to share illegal Joker Poker video slot profits with the NY mob boss. That murder charge was part of the 1994 Ocean County case and although he beat it was still sentenced to life as a persistent offender and professional criminal. He was also identified as a member of the Lucchese family in that same trial.
To date the now 64 year old mobster has served 10 years of his life sentence and has 14 years left to serve before reaching his first parole eligibility date unless he were to be awarded and win his appeal. Taccetta was somewhat successful back in 2005 when he was released after winning an appeal on claims of ineffective assistance of legal counsel, but the Supreme Court in 2009 overturned that ruling and the former NY mafia underboss was returned to prison.