Bonnano crime family capo and one time ruling panel member turned rat Ricard “Shellack Head” Cantarella along with his wife and son avoided prison time for their cooperation as many expected. Richard Cantarella who pleaded guilty to three murders was a key witness against former Bonanno family bosses Joseph Massino and Vincent Basciano. He decided to turn against his Mafia family in order to embrace and save his real family. His son Paul Cantarella a Bonnano family soldier was facing up to 20 years in prison for racketeering and wife Castelli was facing up to a year in prison for money laundering. The modern mob family decided to turn on the mafia and entered the witness protection program in 2002. Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis noted that the Cantarella family had made mafia history by helping dismantle the Bonanno family and that this was a very unusual sentencing proceeding before letting the three off with no prison time.
Richard Cantarella said after sentencing the best thing he did was get his son out of the mob lifestyle and any chance of his male grandchildren possibly getting into it as well. He said it is a very cunning and treacherous life and who knows how they would of turned out. His son paul said that he had made some bad decisions and would like to put them behind him. Cantarella’s wife Castelli said her husband did all the talking for them and she simply thanked the court for giving her family a second chance.