Tag Archives: mafia news

Pot farm’s neighbors lose federal suit filed under anti-Mafia law

DENVER — A federal jury has ruled against a Colorado couple who claimed that a marijuana-growing operation hurt the value of their property in a case that was closely watched by the U.S. cannabis industry.

Jurors reached their verdict in Denver after deliberating for about a half day, The Colorado Sunreported Wednesday.

It was the first time a jury considered a lawsuit using federal anti-racketeering law to target a marijuana company.

“A loss in this case would have meant the loss of his business,” Matthew Buck, the lawyer for operation’s owner, Parker Walton, told The Sun.

The marijuana industry has followed the case since 2015, when attorneys with a Washington, D.C., firm first filed their complaint on behalf of Hope and Michael Reilly over Walton’s operation in the rural southern Colorado town of Rye.

Vulnerability to similar lawsuits is among the many risks facing marijuana operations licensed by states but still violating federal law. Lawsuits using the same strategy have been filed in California, Massachusetts and Oregon.

One of the Reillys’ lawyers, Brian Barnes, said the couple bought their land for its views of Pikes Peak, built a house there and hike and ride horses on the property.

But they claimed “pungent, foul odors” from a neighboring indoor marijuana-growing operation have hurt the property’s value and the couple’s ability to use and enjoy it.

Congress created the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to target the Mafia in the 1970s, allowing prosecutors to argue leaders of a criminal enterprise should pay a price along with lower-level defendants.

Full Read – http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/nov/02/pot-farm-s-neighbors-lose-federal-suit-/

Former reputed head of New England Mafia completes prison sentence

An East Boston man whom prosecutors described in 2012 as the head of the New England Mafia completed in February his 78-month sentence for racketeering and is now walking free, records show.

Anthony L. DiNunzio, 58, was released from custody on Feb. 22, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. His release was first reported Tuesday by WPRI-TV in Rhode Island.

DiNunzio’s lawyer declined to comment Tuesday.

The mobster pleaded guilty in 2012 to racketeering conspiracy for his role in shaking down Providence strip joints.

CANADA-BASED COMPANY ALLEGEDLY SOLD MODIFIED BLACKBERRY PHONES TO DRUG CARTELS

The CEO of Phantom Secure was indicted on March 15, along with four associates, following allegations that the Canada-based company had sold “tens of millions of dollars” in altered BlackBerry phones to international drug cartels, reports indicate.

Last week, the Department of Justice apprehended Vincent Ramos in Seattle. He and his associates are charged with racketeering and conspiracy to facilitate drug distribution, crimes that have a penalty of prison for life, the BBC reported. This is the first time U.S. officials have targeted a company for knowingly encrypting technology for outlaws in order to evade law enforcement and obstruct justice, the Justice Department said.

“With one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes, our great nation is suffering the deadliest drug epidemic in our history,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Incredibly, some have sought to profit off of this crisis, including by specifically taking advantage of encryption technologies to further criminal activity, and to obstruct, impede, and evade law enforcement, as this case illustrates.”

Full Read – http://www.newsweek.com/canada-ceo-indicted-drug-cartels-blackberry-850326

A Mafia Acquittal Is the Latest L for Quebec Law Enforcement

Crime experts are expecting Montreal’s gang wars to heat up this year.

Patrick Lejtenyi

Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito walked out of the Montreal courthouse on Monday, February 19 as free men. That this caused surprise among organized crime observers is understandable. That it caused extreme frustration among law enforcement is probable, given that this is yet another case against Quebec-based organized crime figures botched by the cops and the Crown.

The two alleged high profile Mafia leaders had their charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and gangsterism tossed out of court after Quebec Superior Court Judge Eric Downs ruled that key evidence was inadmissible. That evidence stemmed from wiretaps planted by police in 2015 in the office of lawyer Loris Cavaliere—wiretaps that the judge said violated the sanctity of solicitor-client privilege. The accused argued that investigators didn’t put in enough safeguards to guarantee the privacy of Cavaliere’s other client. The judge sided with them and threw the wiretap evidence out, leaving the Crown with little else to prove Rizzuto and Sollecito’s guilt.

Full Read – https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/evmq3p/a-mafia-acquittal-is-the-latest-l-for-quebec-law-enforcement