Carmine Avellino a reputed captain in the Lucchese crime family is hoping to be aided in his latest legal battle by police corruption. Avellino and two New York mafia associates are facing extortion charges and possible prison sentences of twenty years each.
Lawyers for the 71-year-old mobster are hoping the recent arrest of police chief James Burke can be used as evidence of rampant police corruption in Suffolk County law enforcement in an effort to get their client’s charges dismissed. It was Burke who supervised the investigation that led to the indictment against Avellino and his codefendants.
Lawyers for Avellino in pretrial motions have also asked for records of two former law enforcement officials with alleged ties to organized crime. Police officer Robert Dino and detective John White were both arrested only three months after the time frame of the Avellino indictment as part of an investigation into suspected leaks of information to organized crime members. Defense attorney Scott Leemon said the case against his client seems “rife with corruption” and has asked a judge to subpoena records and witness statements relating to the arrests of Dito and White.
Prosecutors have not yet responded to the new court filings but its clear the feds will oppose the defenses requests. The feds replies and final pretrial motions are scheduled to be resolved some time next month and a tentative trial date has been set for March 7th. It seems unlikely these new motions will lead to any changes in the case against the Lucchese family mobsters.