The trial of former Patriarca crime family mobster Enrico Ponzo after being on the run for over a decade has finally begun. Ponzo was allegedly a part of a hit team that tried to kill Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme during a New England mafia war back in 1989. He was charged in 1994 with attempted murder and extortion and fled Massachusetts to avoid prosecution according to authorities. He was finally captured in 2011 in Marsing, Idaho near Boise where he living as a cattle rancher under the alias Jeffrey John Shaw. A cumbersome case of characters including mafia turncoats are set to take the stand against Ponzo some of which may pose a challenge for the prosecution.
Ponzo’s lawyer John Cunha has claimed that his client fled in 1994 because he feared he would be killed by his fellow mobsters. He also urged the jury to question the credibility of the upcoming witnesses against Ponzo because of the deals they struck with the government while agreeing to testify. He said keep in mind the powerful tools used by the government to elicit the testimony it wants as you listen to these people on the stand. If convicted on all charges the former New England mobster could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.