Dozens of alleged gangsters arrested in a massive racketeering bust in August may go free, after the case was reportedly mishandled by the FBI.
According to the New York Post, the FBI is conducting an internal review of two agents and a supervising agent related to their interactions with a key witness. Separately, there are allegations that federal agents leaked details of the investigation to the mafia blog Gangland News.
The Post reports that federal prosecutors sent a sealed letter to the court last week reporting an internal probe looking into the possibility that agents did not properly document debriefings with John Rubio, an associate of the Genovese crime family who served as an informant in the racketeering investigation, which led to numerous charges against 46 mobsters representing four of the five major organized crime families in New York City and Philadelphia, including assault, extortion, and arson.
Prosecutors said that agents are also being investigated for failing to preserve some communications with the information. According to the New York Post, sources familiar with the case said the lack of documentation raises questions that some evidence may have been suppressed.
Sources told the newspaper that the defendants — which include Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello, a rumored Genovese capo, and reputed Philadephia boss Joseph “Skinny Joey’’ Merlino — are viewing the vulnerabilities as an opportunity to get the charges dropped.
“The problem is, if they cheated a little bit, they cheated a lot,” a source told the New York Post.
Photo: Associated Press/Joseph Merlino