A reputed Colombo crime family captain convicted of running illegal card games on Long Island and assaulting two men who robbed one of his clubs was sentenced Friday in Brooklyn to 10 years in prison.
Bookmaker Michael Uvino, 42, of Little Neck, got the stiff sentence despite insisting that he was a victim of gambling addiction, and despite pleas for mercy from his ex-cop father and a nun who praised his charitable work.
U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein told Uvino that even nonviolent mob rackets like gambling had contributed to the Mafia's destructive effects on the New York City region over four decades. "He's sworn to be a man of the Mafia for his life, and I'm convinced he'll go back," Weinstein told Uvino's lawyer. "The youngsters in this city have to understand that they can't join this organization, and that when they do they destroy their lives."
Prosecutors accused Uvino of bookmaking and running illegal gambling clubs on Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst and out of a Sons of Italy hall on Sunrise Highway in West Babylon. He was convicted in December.
"His sin is the gambling," the defendant's father, Carmine Uvino, told Weinstein. "I think you're being overly excessive."
Two associates of Uvino received lesser sentences from Weinstein Friday. Brian Dono, 38, of Lindenhurst, was sentenced to 46 months in prison, and Philip Costanza, 46, of the Bronx, received a 24-month prison term.
According to court papers, the government has seized the William Paca Lodge in West Babylon. The proceeds of a forfeiture sale will be split 50/50 with the local affiliate, which has been severed from the statewide Sons of Italy because of the charges.
Thanks to John Riley
Sunday, July 12, 2009
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