Showing posts with label Lin DeVecchio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lin DeVecchio. Show all posts

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Bizarro FBI" Roots for "Defendant"

When Lin DeVecchio goes to court, he never goes alone.

His lawyers are there, making arguments. The news media are there, taking photographs and notes. His wife sometimes shows up, making small, sorrowful faces as she grips him by the hand. Then there are the men who make a path for him as they escort him back and forth through the crowd. The ones with the gray hair and the jowls, the stern faces and the off-the-rack suits.

Almost from the moment he was charged in March with helping to commit four murders for the mob, R. Lindley DeVecchio has been surrounded by this posse of supporters: retired F.B.I. men who for years were not only his colleagues, but also his friends.

They watch his back. Personally guarantee his million-dollar bond. Solicit money for his legal bills. Scoff at his accusers. Interview — or, some have said, intimidate — witnesses in the case. And at every chance they get, tell whoever cares to listen that Mr. DeVecchio is an innocent man.

Sixty-five years old and retired from the F.B.I., Mr. DeVecchio stands accused in a state indictment of four counts of second-degree murder. The Brooklyn district attorney’s office says he helped an informant in the mob, Gregory Scarpa Sr., kill four times in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, so that Mr. Scarpa could rid himself of rivals and win bloody battles in a war within the Colombo family.

To a federal agent, there is nothing more toxic than a corruption charge — which even by association can ruin a career. And the charges faced by Mr. DeVecchio are radioactive: that he gave secret information to Mr. Scarpa in exchange for $66,000.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that 19 former F.B.I. agents have put their names and reputations on the line to save their troubled friend. These were not the bureaucrats or pencil pushers of the New York office, but its veteran undercover and investigative men. “We’ve all worked with Lin since the early 1970’s,” said Joseph D. Pistone, the real-life Donnie Brasco, who infiltrated the Bonanno crime family as an undercover agent in the 1970’s.

“We’re all veteran street guys,” Mr. Pistone said. “If anyone could smell something bad, it would be us. And with Lin, we never smelled bad.”

The so-called Friends of Lin DeVecchio have a total of 480 years of street experience, give or take a few, and while most spend their time these days on a golf course or at the shore, they remain encyclopedic on the subject of the mob.

Who knows better than us, they say, what happened 20 years ago at Carmine Sessa’s bar or at Larry Lampesi’s house near McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn? (Both places will figure prominently at trial.) “We gathered the information,” said James M. Kossler, who from 1979 to 1989 was Mr. DeVecchio’s boss.

Much of that information has been posted on a Web site, www.lindevecchio.com, which attempts to refute the state indictment with transcripts of federal trials and with private F.B.I. reports called 302’s. There is information about how to donate money toward Mr. DeVecchio’s legal expenses. The Web site also levels personal attacks against the state’s lead prosecutor, Michael Vecchione; its chief witness, Linda Schiro, Mr. Scarpa’s former companion; and Sandra Harmon, who is a self-described relationship coach and the co-author with Priscilla Presley of a tell-all book on Elvis Presley, and who had planned to write a book with Ms. Schiro but wrote one instead about Mr. Scarpa’s son.

Mr. DeVecchio’s supporters make no bones about their deep disdain for the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, who they say considers a good Mafia case to be rounding up gamblers on Super Bowl Sunday. “Here you have a rackets bureau that doesn’t know a thing about organized crime,” Mr. Kossler said. “They don’t know what they’re doing. If they had a track record of making great O.C. cases, fine — but they don’t.”

The bad blood between the state and the F.B.I. goes back many years, to at least 1992, when Mr. Scarpa went into hiding after Brooklyn prosecutors obtained a warrant for his arrest on a gun possession charge. From April to August of that year, court papers say, Mr. Scarpa met or spoke with Mr. DeVecchio seven times, but the F.B.I. neither informed the state of his whereabouts nor arrested Mr. Scarpa.

Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for Mr. Hynes, waved off accusations that the office was incompetent. “These people who are making these allegations can’t possibly know the depth of the evidence we have compiled to make this case,” he said.

Part of that evidence is likely to include the testimony of Lawrence Mazza, Mr. Scarpa’s one-time disciple, who has already told investigators that Mr. Scarpa had a friend in law enforcement, whom he used to call “the girlfriend.” Mr. Mazza, who now works at a gym in southern Florida, said that several weeks ago, one of the retired agents paid him a visit. Without saying exactly what happened, he said the agent had tried to intimidate him in connection with the case.

Mr. Kossler scoffed at the charge, saying the former agent had gone to Florida merely to interview Mr. Mazza on Mr. DeVecchio’s behalf. As a witness for the prosecution, Mr. Mazza is of obvious interest to the defense, he said. While the prosecution has said in court that intimidation of witnesses may have occurred, it will not publicly discuss Mr. Mazza’s accusation.

At its core, the DeVecchio case is about the tenuous give-and-take that exists between an agent and a confidential source. Prosecutors say that Mr. DeVecchio abused that give-and-take, giving Mr. Scarpa names and addresses of men who wound up dead.

Mr. DeVecchio has said that in the 12 years he “ran” Mr. Scarpa, he never leaked a secret and never received anything more than a Cabbage Patch doll, a bottle of wine and a pan of lasagna.

As for the Friends of Lin DeVecchio, they maintain it takes a special sort of man to handle Mafia informants. He must speak the language of the street and of the F.B.I. He must appreciate the criminal mind without admiring it. He must be able to cultivate trust among those who trust no one but themselves. “That’s the fine line the agent has to walk — to always remember who he is and who he’s dealing with,” said Christopher Mattice, who served for many years as the F.B.I.’s informant coordinator in New York. “You have to talk the language and make them understand you understand what’s going on.” And most important, he said, you must remember that no conversation between an agent and a mole takes place in a vacuum. Questions fashioned to elicit information give information: If Agent X asks about Gangster Y, it means that he is interested in Gangster Y. If Gangster Y winds up dead, is that Agent X’s fault?

For now, Mr. DeVecchio’s trial is scheduled to open at the beginning of next year, and his federal friends are planning to attend. “The bond is very close,” said Douglas E. Grover, Mr. DeVecchio’s lawyer. “It’s not just that they worked together; it’s like they were in the Army together, like they went through the wars.”

Should things go poorly for Mr. DeVecchio, his supporters will not quit, they say. “We’ll continue to do what we’re doing,” Mr. Kossler said. “We’ll fight this as far as it has to go.”

Thanks to Alan Feuer

Monday, April 17, 2006

Boss: Ex-agent no thug - Former FBI chief backs DeVecchio

Friends of ours: Gregory Scarpa Sr., Colombo Crime Family

The former head of the FBI in New York insists that ex-G-man Lindley DeVecchio is innocent of charges that he helped fuel a top mob capo's murderous reign. Speaking out for the first time on the controversial case, James Kallstrom defended DeVecchio's handling of killer mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr. - and called the former agent a "hard worker" who risked his life going undercover to help smash the Mafia.

"Lin DeVecchio is not guilty and did not partake in what he's being charged with. It's as simple as that," Kallstrom, who now serves as senior counterterrorism adviser to Gov. Pataki, told the Daily News. "His work went a long way toward the success of the FBI task force breaking up La Cosa Nostra as we knew it."

Kallstrom, who was the face of the FBI through major cases such as the TWA Flight 800 probe and the first World Trade Center attack, has known the embattled agent more than 30 years.

He dismissed the corruption charges brought by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes as a hodgepodge of old accusations that had been thoroughly investigated by the Justice Department and the FBI.

The probes failed to uncover enough evidence to charge DeVecchio with a crime or even to discipline him. "There was no finding that any of those charges were valid," Kallstrom said. "From my knowledge, the two investigations were voluminous and took literally years to complete."

He added, "I don't proclaim to know everything that the district attorney might know, but from what I do know, I don't believe he's guilty of those charges because they've been thoroughly investigated before."

Prosecutors have painted an entirely different picture, accusing DeVecchio of taking payoffs from Scarpa and supplying him with inside information that led to four underworld slayings. That arrangement, prosecutors say, helped DeVecchio enhance his stature within the FBI while giving the Colombo chieftain license to kill with impunity.

Kallstrom acknowledged handling informers is "a tricky business." But he categorically denied there were payoffs. "Of course not," he said, bristling.

He added that the bureau had no knowledge that Scarpa, allegedly with DeVecchio's tacit blessings, was orchestrating a series of killings that left the streets of Brooklyn awash in blood.

"The notion that the FBI knew [Scarpa] was out killing people is preposterous," said Kallstrom, adding there were many "checks and balances" to ensure DeVecchio and Scarpa's "close working relationship" remained above board.

Hynes' office says it has the evidence to prove otherwise. "We are prepared to go to trial," said a Hynes spokesman.

Kallstrom is backing the Friends of Lin DeVecchio Trust Web site to raise funds for DeVecchio's legal defense, joining scores of active and retired FBI agents including Joe Pistone, who went undercover in the Mafia as Donnie Brasco.

"We put a Web site up to try to help with his legal expenses, and I lent my name to that because I believe he's innocent," Kallstrom said.

Thanks to Angela Mosconi

Sunday, April 16, 2006

For Ex-F.B.I. Agent Accused in Murders, a Case of What Might Have Been

Friends of ours: Colombo Crime Family, Gregory Scarpa Sr., Victor J. Orena

R. Lindley DeVecchio once stood atop the New York office of the F.B.I. as a legendary Mafia hunter, a storied agent who helped break the back of the mob in the celebrated Commission Case. Now he stands accused of helping the mob commit murders, charged in a state indictment last month with feeding lethal secrets to a captain of organized crime.

Mr. DeVecchio has been hailed as a hero and tarnished as a scourge, and yet there was a moment in a Pennsylvania parking lot 30 years ago that almost caused him to be neither.

In 1976, as a young F.B.I. agent, Mr. DeVecchio sold old handguns to undercover officers, who later sought to charge him with a felony. Had he been convicted, the case might have led to prison or his dismissal as an agent. But Mr. DeVecchio, who said he acted legally and to benefit a widow, was neither jailed nor fired.

The case against him was ultimately discarded without an indictment by officials at the highest levels of the Justice Department, a decision that the federal prosecutor in the original case says was largely made by the top aide to the deputy United States attorney general, a 32-year-old attorney named Rudolph W. Giuliani.

"Rudy expressed no other reason not to prosecute the guy except the guy was a cop," said the former prosecutor, Daniel M. Clements, who is now in private practice. "And he didn't want to embarrass the bureau."

Mr. Clements said last week that he recalled in detail his meetings 30 years ago with Mr. Giuliani, as well as his frustration that the case was dismissed as unimportant.

Mr. Giuliani, who built a reputation in part by prosecuting corrupt police officers, said through a spokeswoman, Sunny Mindel, that he had no recollection of the DeVecchio case.

Whatever the level, if any, of Mr. Giuliani's role, the case stands as a long-buried piece of law enforcement history, a fork in the road that, if traversed differently, may have led to an entirely different set of consequences. Indeed, from the vantage point of 1976, the gun case may have seemed a minor matter. There was no way to know that seven years later, according to the state indictment filed last month in Brooklyn, Mr. DeVecchio would step across the line, helping a Mafia informant kill at least four people. But if Mr. DeVecchio had been pursued in 1976, would he have risen to lead the F.B.I. squad that hunted the Colombo crime family? Would he have had a role in some of the government's watershed cases against the mob? Would he now stand accused of second-degree murder?

His lawyer, Douglas E. Grover, said federal officials were right to never charge his client in the gun case because they were merely antiques that were peddled at a gun show. But he acknowledged that had that case been successfully pursued Mr. DeVecchio would probably have lost his job. "It also means that they may made not have made the Commission Case," he said, referring to a 1986 trial at which top organized crime leaders in New York City were convicted.

The gun case began in early 1976 when Mr. DeVecchio traveled from New York to King of Prussia, Pa., to sell a Nazi-era Luger at the Valley Forge Gun Show, which promotes itself as "a gun show in the truest American tradition."

He was looking, according to his testimony in a later case, to sell the weapons "for the benefit of the widow" to whom they belonged.

Without a license, he moved through the stalls of the firearms bazaar, and was soon approached by Michael Flax, an undercover agent with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Mr. Flax said. Mr. Flax's job was to troll the show in plainclothes looking for such illicit deals. That year alone, he said, several people he caught similarly selling guns without paperwork went to prison. "I was usually like, 'Gee I'd like to get this gun,' " he said in an interview from his retirement home in San Diego. ' "Do we have to go through all the paperwork?' "

Mr. Flax recalled that he bought the Luger in a parking lot outside the show. Over several weeks, he said, he pursued an investigation of Mr. DeVecchio in which a second agent secretly recorded the F.B.I. man selling another gun. He said that Mr. DeVecchio, at one point, gave him a phone number at which he might be reached. It was, he said, an office of the New York F.B.I.

A few weeks later, Mr. Flax brought the case to Mr. Clements, then a young federal prosecutor in Baltimore. Mr. Clements is now in private practice and active in the Democratic Party, having given money to candidates like John Kerry and Al Gore.

"Flax comes to me saying, 'You're not going to believe this,' " Mr. Clements said last week. " 'I have an F.B.I. agent selling guns illegally.' "

A few months later, Mr. Clements said he told the F.B.I. as a courtesy that he was investigating one of its agents. A few weeks passed, he said, with discussions back and forth with F.B.I. officials in Maryland and in Washington. "The next person I heard from," he went on, "was Rudolph Giuliani."

Mr. Giuliani was, at that point, an aide to Harold Tyler, the deputy attorney general, who reviewed such cases. Mr. Giuliani had joined his staff in 1975 after serving in the United States attorney's office in Manhattan where he had helped direct the prosecution in the Prince of the City police corruption case.

Over several weeks, Mr. Clements said, Mr. Giuliani asked him to write a pair of memoranda on the case in which he noted that Mr. DeVecchio had sold the guns without the proper paperwork, a crime, Mr. Clements said, for which he thought there was sufficient evidence to prosecute. Mr. Clements said he attended a pair of meetings about the case with Mr. Giuliani, including one in Mr. Giuliani's office also attended by Mr. Tyler and Jervis Finney, the United States attorney in Maryland who was then Mr. Clements's boss.

Mr. Finney, now the chief lawyer for the governor of Maryland, said last week he has no recollection of the meeting. But Mr. Clements produced a datebook he said he had saved that listed a meeting with Mr. Giuliani in June 1976.

At that meeting and a subsequent meeting in October, Mr. Clements said Mr. Giuliani repeated his desire not to prosecute the case, saying the guns were old and the sale of them without paperwork did not warrant prosecution.

Judge Tyler, who Mr. Clements said was at the second meeting, died last year. The bottom line, after both meetings, Mr. Clements said, was that the case would be dropped.

In the ensuing years, Mr. DeVecchio rose to lead the F.B.I.'s special unit that investigates the Colombo crime family, a position in which he had success in part because of his relationship with a captain in the family, Gregory Scarpa Sr., who became his informant.

The closeness of that relationship ultimately led to a two-year inquiry of Mr. DeVecchio by the F.B.I. that ended in 1996 with the decision to bring no charges against him. But Mr. DeVecchio soon retired.

In 1997, the old gun case briefly resurfaced. At a federal appeals hearing in Brooklyn. Mr. DeVecchio was called as a witness by a gangster, Victor J. Orena, who was trying to win his freedom by suggesting that Mr. DeVecchio was a corrupt agent who had lied about the facts in his case. Under questioning by Gerald Shargel, Mr. Orena's lawyer, Mr. DeVecchio acknowledged selling the guns to the federal agents.

Mr. Shargel then went on to ask him: "Do you remember agents of the A.T.F. reporting to the F.B.I. and Rudolph Giuliani — not yet the mayor — that you had lied to those agents who questioned you, that when confronted with the crimes that you committed, you gave them false exculpatory statements?"

Mr. DeVecchio said that he did not.

In the new indictment, announced last month by Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, Mr. DeVecchio is accused of helping Mr. Scarpa commit at least four murders in the 1980's and early 1990's in exchange for weekly payments. Most of the victims had been talking to the authorities, prosecutors said, and thus were a threat to Mr. Scarpa.

When Mr. Clements read of the indictment, he said he was surprised. At the same time, he recalled the words that he and Mr. Flax had swapped, years ago, when the gun case, as he put it, "went away."

It was an old-time adage on those who break the law, a general theory of recidivist crime. "If someone's a bad actor, we'll get him again," he remembered telling Mr. Flax.

Thanks to Alan Feuer

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Gangland Killings: FBI Agent Indicted for Role in Mafia War

Friends of ours: Colombo Crime Family, Craig Sobel, John Sinagra, Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, Alphonse Persico, Carmine Persico, Joseph DeDomenico, Lorenzo Lampasi, Nicholas "Nicky Black" Grancio, Larry Mazza
Friends of mine: Lindley DeVecchio

A retired FBI special agent who was being investigated for his role in mob "hits" has been indicted by a Brooklyn, NY grand jury, according to the District Attorney's office. The decorated FBI agent, Lindley DeVecchio, was indicted on charges that he gave information to his Mafia informant that led to a series of gangland murders during the bloody Colombo Family gangland war of the 1990s, according to the indictment.

The arrest and indictment of retired FBI Agent Roy Lindley DeVecchio and two men Craig Sobel and John Sinagra associated with the Colombo crime family, who have all been implicated in Mafia murders from 1987 to 1992, has shocked New York City.

The murders all took place when DeVecchio was assigned to work with FBI “top echelon" informant and Colombo Family kingpin Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, in Brooklyn. Sobel and Sinagra are charged with being triggermen in two mob hits, and DeVecchio is charged with acting in concert in four mob-related killings.

This is the most stunning example of official corruption that I have ever seen, said Brooklyn District Attorney Richard Hynes. Four people were murdered with the help of a federal law enforcement agent who was charged with keeping them safe. Lindley DeVecchio deserves the maximum sentence of 25 years to life for each of these killings.

In 2005, the House Judiciary Committee was involved in preparing for hearings to look into allegations against FBI agents involved in organized crime investigations. The pre-hearing investigations uncovered discrepancies regarding DeVecchio and his relationship to Scarpa during 1980s and early 1990s. The case to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office with a recommendation for a full investigation.

Pursuant to its oversight responsibilities the Judiciary Committee will closely monitor the proceedings in this case, and review all the evidence presented concerning FBI misconduct, according to a Congressional spokesperson.

The first murder victim, Mary Bari, 31, was the stunning brunette girlfriend of Colombo consigliore Alphonse Persico, brother of then Colombo Family boss, Carmine Persico. The indictment charges DeVecchio told Scarpa that Bari had been speaking to federal authorities and should be taken care of. On September 25, 1984, she was shot and killed in a Brooklyn social club by Scarpa and other members of the Colombo crime family.

Agent DeVecchio is also charged with urging Scarpa to kill Joseph DeDomenico, a Colombo soldier who was considered a threat, because he had been using drugs, committing crimes without involving Scarpa and talking about becoming a Born-again Christian. DeDomenico, 45, was killed September 17, 1987, by Scarpa and other Colombo associates.

Sobel is charged with firing two blasts from a sawed-off shotgun that killed 17-year-old Dominick Masseria on the steps of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Brooklyn, October 31, 1989. Earlier that Halloween night Masseria had been present at an egg-throwing incident which turned violent, and involved several other youths from the neighborhood. While walking home he was the victim of a drive-by shooting. Present in the car were triggerman Sobel, Joseph Scarpa Greg Scarpa’s teenage son and his friend Patrick Porco.

In May of 1990 Porco was questioned by detectives at the 62nd Precinct stationhouse about Masseria’s murder. DeVecchio contacted Greg Scarpa to tell him that Porco, 18, had been speaking to authorities about Joseph Scarpa’s involvement in the Masseria shooting. Sinagra is charged with carrying out a Scarpa-ordered hit on Porco, to prevent him from speaking about Masseria.

The final murder charged is of a criminal rival of Scarpa’s, Lorenzo Lampasi, during the war within the Colombo crime family. Scarpa informed DeVecchio that he wanted to kill Lampasi, 66, and DeVecchio is charged with providing Scarpa critical information -- obtained during law-enforcement surveillance regarding Lampasi’s address and personal habits. On May 22, 1992, Lampasi was murdered in his driveway at 4 a.m., the time that Lampasi left his home every morning.

DeVecchio, 65, who retired from the FBI in 1996, has always maintained he was clean. A source within the New York City Police Department told this writer that the DeVecchio indictment does not mention his alleged role in one of the most notorious mob murder cases in New York history -- the brutal murder of mobster Nicholas "Nicky Black" Grancio in 1992.

Former hitman Larry Mazza, who later became an FBI informant, had claimed Scarpa successfully called on DeVecchio to pull surveillance off Grancio -- a rival mobster -- so Scarpa's crew could shoot him. However, nothing against DeVecchio could be proved by New York detectives.

Thanks to Jim Kouri, CPP

Monday, March 27, 2006

Retired F.B.I. Agent Is Accused of Helping in Mafia Murders

Friends of ours: Colombo Crime Family, Bonanno Crime Family, Gregory Scarpa Sr., Joseph "Joe Brewster" DeDomenico, Nicholas Grancio
Friends of mine: R. Lindley DeVecchio, Larry Lampesi

A grand jury in Brooklyn has accused a retired F.B.I. agent of helping a Mafia killer and bureau informant murder or help murder at least three people, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the indictment confirmed yesterday.

The murder indictment in Supreme Court names R. Lindley DeVecchio, a career investigator and onetime head of the bureau's Colombo and Bonanno families squads. He led a government surveillance team during a bloody mob civil war in the 1980's. That war left at least 10 men dead and 14 wounded.

Mr. DeVecchio, 65, reached yesterday by telephone at his home in Sarasota, Fla., denied any wrongdoing and referred all further questions to his lawyer, Douglas Grover, who said the district attorney's case against his client was "complete nonsense."

"I'm going to bang the table" in court on Monday "and get a copy of the indictment," he said. Mr. Grover, a former federal prosecutor with the Organized Crime Task Force, added: "It's common for an indictment to be filed and sealed and kept secret until prosecutors make a decision as to how they want to deal with the arraignment. But it's uncommon to leak it to the press."

Starting in 1982, Mr. DeVecchio began grooming Gregory Scarpa Sr., a captain and an assassin for the Colombo crime family, as a mole for the F.B.I.

According to the still-sealed indictment, the law enforcement official said, Mr. DeVecchio, while an F.B.I. agent, provided information to Mr. Scarpa, who in 1984 killed Mary Bari, who had dated a mobster and become a bureau informant.

The indictment also charges that Mr. DeVecchio provided information that helped Mr. Scarpa assist in the 1987 killing of Joseph DeDomenico, a mobster also known as Joe Brewster, as well as in the 1992 death of Larry Lampesi, a mob associate.

Mr. DeVecchio had also been investigated in the death of a fourth person, Nicholas Grancio, a Colombo family captain. It is not clear if that case is addressed in the indictment.

In 1992, a hit team organized by Mr. Scarpa pulled alongside Mr. Grancio's car and killed him with a shotgun blast. Investigators wondered whether Mr. DeVecchio had withdrawn F.B.I. agents from the scene, making the murder possible.

In 1993, Mr. Scarpa pleaded guilty to murder and racketeering charges. He died of AIDS a year later in a prison hospital at age 66 after contracting the virus that causes it from a blood transfusion.

The indictment of Mr. DeVecchio was reported yesterday in The New York Daily News and The New York Post. Details of his possible indictment were also reported this month by Jerry Capeci, a longtime reporter on organized crime, on his Web site, GangLandNews.com.

Mr. DeVecchio's lawyer, Mr. Grover, said that Mr. Scarpa was interviewed in prison by the F.B.I. and was asked specifically whether Mr. DeVecchio was his source. "Scarpa said no," Mr. Grover said.

Mr. Grover described Mr. DeVecchio as a friend who had become a client and who had testified or worked in many organized-crime cases while Mr. Grover was a federal prosecutor.

Contrary to some press depictions of his client as a hermit, Mr. Grover said, "Lynn is not a recluse. He lives in a house in Florida. He has a significant other. He is retired from the F.B.I. but still works for a living, and he travels to New York on occasion. And I have seen him socially."

Thanks to Anthony Ramirez

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