The Chicago Syndicate: Frederick Weiss
Showing posts with label Frederick Weiss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frederick Weiss. Show all posts

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Longtime Gambino Associate, Joseph Watts, Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 13 Years in Prison on Murder and Assault Charges

PRETT BHARA the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOSEPH WATTS, 69, a longtime associate of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Gambino Family”), was sentenced to 13 years in prison on murder and assault charges. WATTS pled guilty on January 20, 2011, to a two-count superseding information that charged him with participating in murder and assault conspiracies in order to maintain and increase his influence in the Gambino Family. The sentence was imposed in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.

U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: “Today’s sentence should serve as a sober reminder that if you kill or harm an actual or potential government witness, no matter how powerful you may think you are, we will find you and send you to prison for a very long time. The sentence Judge McMahon imposed today ensures that Watts will spend the next decade of his life paying for his crimes.”

According to documents previously filed in Manhattan federal court and statements WATTS made at his guilty plea proceeding:

WATTS was a close associate of one-time Gambino Family Boss JOHN J. GOTTI and others. Although WATTS was never formally inducted into the Gambino Family as a “made” member because of his non-Italian lineage, he was afforded the status of a Gambino Family capo.

In 1989, FREDERICK WEISS was a defendant in a case that was pending in the Southern District of New York. JOHN J. GOTTI, then-boss of the Gambino Family, suspected that WEISS was cooperating with the government because he terminated a lawyer who regularly represented Gambino Family members and associates. GOTTI ordered WEISS to be murdered—an order that GOTTI communicated to WATTS and others. WATTS then put together a murder team to carry out the hit.

In September 1989, WATTS and others went to a house on Staten Island where they expected WEISS would be. WATTS assigned different Gambino members and associates to different tasks, including digging the grave where WEISS would be buried. WATTS himself stood in the garage, holding a gun and waiting to shoot WEISS upon his arrival. Because WEISS did not show up to the house as WATTS had expected, he was not killed that day. However, a different team of shooters to whom GOTTI had also assigned the task of killing WEISS successfully located him the next day. He was shot to death in front of his apartment building.

While WATTS was serving a prison sentence in connection with his 2001 conviction for money laundering, he met Victim-1, whom he came to admire because of Victim-1’s purported stockpicking abilities. When Victim-1 was released from prison, WATTS sent an emissary to deliver approximately $350,000 to $400,000—all cash—to Victim-1 to invest on WATTS’ behalf. The investment failed. In 2002, WATTS demanded his money back from Victim-1, who returned some, but not all, of WATTS’s money.

To force Victim-1 to give him back all the money, WATTS began threatening Victim-1. On one occasion, WATTS and another individual confronted Victim-1 in Manhattan and physically assaulted him. On a subsequent occasion, WATTS threatened Victim-1 and physically shoved Victim-1 against a wall.

In addition to his prison term, Judge MCMAHON sentenced WATTS, of Staten Island, New York, to three years of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $250,000.

During the sentencing proceeding, Judge MCMAHON stated that the murder of Frederick Weiss was “heinous,” “hideous,” and the work of a “cold-blooded killer.” Judge McMahon further stated that the maximum sentence, which she ultimately imposed on WATTS, was “the consequence of the choice he made.”

Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN and CHI T. STEVE KWOK are in charge of the prosecution.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Jackie the Nose" Indictment Announcement

LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced the unsealing of an indictment charging JOHN D’AMICO, a/k/a "Jackie the Nose," the Acting Boss of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra (the "Gambino Crime Family"), and powerful, longtime Gambino Crime Family associate JOSEPH WATTS with the 1989 murder of FREDERICK WEISS, who the defendants believed was serving as a federal government witness. The Indictment unsealed today also charges D'AMICO with racketeering conspiracy involving murder, extortion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and gambling. WATTS was arrested earlier this morning in Manhattan and is expected to be presented later today in Manhattan federal court. D'AMICO is in federal custody in connection with a separate matter and is expected to be transferred to Manhattan to face these charges at a later date. According to the Indictment unsealed earlier today and other documents filed in Manhattan federal Court:

D'AMICO is a Capo in the Gambino Crime Family -- one of the families of "La Cosa Nostra" that operate in the New York City and New Jersey areas -- and is presently serving as its Acting Boss.

One of the purposes of the Gambino Crime Family is to identify and kill individuals suspected of providing information about the Family to law enforcement. On September 11, 1989, FREDERICK WEISS was murdered at the direction of JOHN GOTTI, the boss of the Gambino Family, because he was believed to be cooperating with law enforcement. D'AMICO and WATTS were among those involved in carrying out GOTTI's order to murder WEISS. From at least 1986, D'AMICO was also involved in conspiring with other members and associates of the Gambino Crime Family to commit a wide range of criminal offenses, including murder, operating illegal gambling businesses, extortion and obstruction of justice. D'AMICO's illegal conduct continued until at least May 2008 when, in an attempt to obtain release on bail in connection with separate federal charges against him, he misrepresented the nature of a salaried position with a major beverage distributor, which he obtained through Gambino Crime Family influence.

D'AMICO is charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy involving murder, extortion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and gambling; and one count of murder of a witness in a federal criminal case. WATTS is charged with one count of murder of a witness in a federal criminal case. If convicted, D'AMICO, 72, and WATTS, 67, face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $4 million from D'AMICO. The forfeitures represent the alleged proceeds obtained from the charged offenses.

Mr. DASSIN praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys MIRIAM ROCAH and ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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