Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mafia Victim Not a Rat?

Friends of mine: Colombo Crime Family, Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa

Accused FBI mob mole Lindley DeVecchio, charged with sealing the fate of a Brooklyn teen by tipping off a Colombo crime pal that the boy was about to squeal, had been completely wrong about the 17-year-old's intentions.

Filings in a related case make clear that murder victim Patrick Porco was no rat. "Porco flatly refused to answer the investigators' questions," the court papers reveal.

DeVecchio, a star FBI agent who helped make major cases against the mob in the '80s and early '90s, now stands accused of four counts of second-degree murder for an all-too-cozy relationship with Colombo killer Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa. Brooklyn prosecutors allege that he thanked Scarpa for the info he got by sending back tips that helped the mobster avoid arrest and whack rivals. DeVecchio has denied any wrongdoing.

In the Porco case, DeVecchio is accused of acting to safeguard Scarpa's son, Joey, from a murder rap.

In the spring of 1990, cops and prosecutors were eager to talk to Porco about a fatal drive-by shooting the previous Halloween. The victim was Dominick Masseria, 17, who was believed to have tossed eggs at the wrong bunch of kids. Porco and Joey Scarpa were in the white limo involved in the shooting.

Just after speaking on the phone with DeVecchio, Gregory Scarpa told his girlfriend that Joey was going to have to kill Porco, prosecutors say. But last week's filings make clear that prosecutors' efforts to find out what Porco knew were going nowhere.

On May 5, 1990, Porco and his sister met with prosecutors and Detective Alphonse Lombardo. "Neither one was willing to talk," the papers reveal. "Inspector Lombardo confronted Patrick Porco with the fact that he was likely to be killed because he was the only witness who could implicate Joey Scarpa.

"Porco started crying, but he steadfastly refused to cooperate."

But even the appearance of cooperation was enough. Porco was found shot dead - once in the mouth, signifying rat - on Memorial Day, 1990.

In 2005, the Brooklyn DA reopened the Masseria case, identifying the shooter as Craig Sobel, 39. The papers revealing Porco's noncooperation were filed in connection with the Sobel case.

Thanks to Alex Ginsberg

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