NEW YORK—Closing arguments from both sides in the trial of reported mobsters Thomas Gioeli and Dino Saracino were made on Tuesday, according to AP.
Charges against the two include conspiring to racketeer, robbery, extortion, and drug trafficking. The racketeering charge includes six acts of murder.
Gioeli is, according to the U.S. attorney’s office, “the acting boss of the Colombo organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra,” while Saracino is an associate in the crime family. The FBI and district attorney have been working for years “to dismantle the Colombo family,” according to an FBI document.
Seventeen indictments charging 12 mobsters originally were unsealed in June 2008. The other 10 defendants have either accepted guilty pleas or have pending cases, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of East New York.
In the arguments on Tuesday, defense attorneys said that the men who had pleaded guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence and provided potentially damning information about Gioeli’s alleged crimes were actually chosen by the government.
“Outside the turncoats’ testimony, prosecutors offered no evidence proving that Gioeli ordered any of the killings,” defense attorney Adam Perlmutter said, according to AP.
“Gioeli, 59, ‘has been targeted relentlessly because he knows people the government doesn’t like,'” Perlmutter added.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes countered, “The government did not choose these men—the defendants did.”
“They robbed with them and they killed with them,” she added, according to AP.
One testifier, Dino Calabro, Dino Saracino’s cousin, testified on March 28 that a man he killed in 1997 under Gioeli’s orders was a cop, unbeknownst to him.
“We don’t typically kill police officers,” he testified, according to Brooklyn News Service. “It’s a rule. We don’t hurt kids, and we don’t kill cops.”
Gioeli and Saracino both face life sentences, according to the news service.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of East New York, the jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon.