Monday, January 12, 2009

"Tony Roach" Petitions to Exterminate the Rest of His Prison Sentence

The Roach just won't go away.

Anthony (Tony Roach) Rampino, a notorious hit man for late Gambino crime boss John Gotti, is getting a second shot at beating his 25-to-life sentence for heroin trafficking.

The reputed killer will appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Jan. 29 for resentencing after a state appeals court overruled a judge who had rejected his bid for a reduced sentence.

Having served 10 years, Rampino conceivably could walk out a free man if Justice Arlene Goldberg gives him time served. Law enforcement officials say that would be a travesty of justice.

The Roach was more exterminator than pest for the Gambino crime family back in the day. Rampino was a backup shooter in the 1985 assassination of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano outside Sparks Steakhouse in midtown, cops say.

He's also been fingered as a member of the hit team that murdered Gotti's neighbor John Favara in 1980 after Favara killed Gotti's young son in a traffic accident.

"He's a hard-core associate of organized crime," said Mark Feldman, a former federal prosecutor who supervised the 1987 narcotics case against Rampino for the Brooklyn district attorney's office. "He's as Mafia as a guy gets without being a made member,'" said Feldman, a managing director for BDO Consulting.

Rampino lived above Gotti's Bergin Hunt & Fish Club in Ozone Park. He was never inducted into the Mafia because of his heavy drug use. He reportedly earned the nickname 'The Roach' because he smoked every bit of a marijuana joint.

Federal prosecutors did not charge him with the Castellano or Favara murders because he was serving a life sentence for selling a kilo of cocaine to an undercover cop.

Although Rampino never appealed his conviction, he filed a petition seeking a reduced sentence in 2004 after state lawmakers overturned severe drug terms known as the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said the revised penalties are not intended for thugs like Rampino. "Rampino's sentence reflected who he was and the violence he was involved in," Brennan said.

Even behind bars Rampino has been incorrigible, losing more than 500 days of "good time" for misbehavior.

Thanks to John Marzulli

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