Dino “Little Dino” Saracino was sentenced to 50 years in prison by Federal Judge Brian Cogan.
Saracino was believed to have earned his button (introduction into the mafia) by carrying out the 1997 mob hit on NYPD police officer Ralph Dols. Prosecutors alleged that the hit was ordered by Joel Cacace the former boss of the Colombo crime family because he was jealous that Dols had married his ex-wife. Former Colombo family acting boss Thomas Gioeli was charged along with Cacace and Saracino for the Dols murder but separate juries acquitted all three mobsters. Even with the acquittal, Saracino was still hit with a maximum sentence for his other mafia-related crimes.
Saracino was caught on a secret wiretap talking to a mob associate saying that he could do a 20-year sentence and walk out of prison with a smile. Judge Cogan using that statement from Saracino said the idea of him emerging from prison with more respect for the law then when he went in was a lost cause. For the 41-year-old wiseguy the 50 years will pretty much amount to a life sentence.
Judge Cogan said it seemed like what Saracino mainly wanted out of his life was to be a member of the New York Mafia and he had obtained that goal. Little Dino made commented to the judge that he hoped the same sentence would be given to Dino Calabro and Joseph Competiello. Both Calabro and Competiello were fellow mobsters until they turned rat and testified against Saracino.