US sentences 14 mafia mobsters to prison

FOURTEEN mobsters from New York’s Italian-American mafia have been sentenced as part of a wide-ranging assault by the authorities on the Cosa Nostra.

The 14 ranged from former Gambino crime family boss, Daniel Marino, to so-called soldiers or thugs carrying out beatings to enforce Gambino extortion activities, the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan said. Nine were sentenced this week and five over recent months.

Illustrating the authorities’ principal strategy against secretive mafia groups in New York, the 14 were handed light sentences after they admitted guilt.

Mafia members in plea bargains with prosecutors are often handed reduced punishments in return for co-operation with investigators against former comrades, including testifying against them in court.

Marino, who admitted to presiding over 200 “made” mafia members and to authorising the murder of his own nephew, a police collaborator, was sentenced to 60 months in prison and $US1.25 million ($1.17 million) forfeiture.

Others pleading guilty to crimes such as racketeering, extortion and sex trafficking received sentences of as little as 18 months.

US Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The successful prosecutions of Daniel Marino and his cronies dealt a significant blow to the Gambino Family – a family that will stop at nothing to wield power, extract illegal profits, and exact revenge against its enemies.”

“We are far from finished,” Mr Bharara said.

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