Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco a reputed mobster in the Genovese crime family of the New York Mafia is facing 27 to 33 months in prison although some are pushing for a much lighter sentence. As part of a plea deal with the feds Franco admitted to being a key player in a mobbed up trash business scheme that involved multiple New York Mafia families. Various mafia families banded together to clean up from the trash business in New York using strong arm tactics to take illegal control of legitimate companies. Franco had previously been banned from the New Jersey trash business because of past criminal convictions associated with the mob and admitted he ran his piece of the latest operation from Rockland, NY. The plea deal agreed to last November also called for a prison sentence from 27 to 33 months and a forfeiture of 2.5 million dollars.
Now Papa Smurf is rallying support for a non-prison sentence of just community service because of his advanced age and medical health along with his changed lifestyle. Lawyers for Franco claim he has a laundry list of health problems that would be difficult for him to receive proper care for in prison. They also list him as the primary care giver for his elderly and ill wife, Mary. Along with these request filed by his lawyers Franco is also receiving support from other sources including that of a local priest.
Lady of Grace Church Rev. Peter Sticco claims Franco has been a regular at the church since his arrest and even offered to become a full time volunteer there doing maintenance work. Rev. Sticco also claims that Franco was instrumental in the decorating of the Church last December and has been involved in other charitable things associated with the church. He assured the judge that Franco would continue to do much more of this type of charitable work for the church if he was allowed to stay out of prison.
Over a dozen letters of support for Franco were sent in which also included one from former New Jersey state Sen. Henry McNamara. Because of Franco’s advanced age and health problems a sentence of community service and not prison seemed warranted according to McNamara. In the letter McNamara said that based on his personal knowledge of Carmine and the Franco family for over 30 years he had not had any occasions in which he experienced any untrustworthy side of any of them. McNamara also confided that he had used Franco for help during his political career as a resource to assist in fact finding before drafting certain legislation having to do with solid waste industry which saved significant tax payers dollars.
Papa Smurf is set to be sentenced for his latest mafia related crimes on May 15.