A contrite former Bonanno crime associate trashed the Mafia as "a farce" at his sentencing for murder yesterday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Francesco (Frank) Fiordilino was then rewarded for his cooperation against Bonanno big shots with a sentence of time served plus 30 days.
"Cooperating witnesses are essential to achieving justice, and you have done your part," said Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis.
Fiordilino, 37, pleaded guilty to shooting drug dealer Thomas Sajn in the throat in 1993 in Ridgewood. Sajn wasn't immediately killed by the gunshot, so a second assailant cut his throat, nearly decapitating him.
At the time, Fiordilino was paying his dues, making espresso and cappuccino at coffee shops under the control of the crime family. His uncle, Frank (Cheech) Navarro, was a made member of the Bonanno family.
Fiordilino was after Sajn's drug money and also wanted to prove to gangsters that he was capable of committing a murder. But after the feds arrested him in 2002, Fiordilino decided to change sides.
"I'm totally at peace with my decision to defect," Fiordilino said yesterday. "I no longer have to lie, cheat or pretend anymore."
He acknowledged the taking of Sajn's life was "cowardly," and reflected on the hypocrisy of the Mafia.
"The mob was and still is a farce that's built on deceit, venom, greed and destruction," he said. "As for loyalty and respect, I never seen it. I could recall hundreds of conversations in which guys would sit around a table bad-mouthing each other. I'm so glad that's behind me."
Prosecutor Greg Andres said Fiordilino's testimony against former Bonanno boss Joseph Massino and soldier Baldassare (Baldo) Amato contributed to their convictions.
"I apologize as well, especially to anyone of Italian background, by conspiring and utilizing our culture in the same manner the entertainment industry does with its stereotypes. ... Hollywood intensified my love for that life, and in the process blindsided what being Italian meant," Fiordilino said.
Thanks to John Marzulli
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