Crime boss charged with murder

February 11, 2009 11:46:02 AM PST
An indictment was unsealed Wednesday against two prominant members of the Gambino crime family.Prosecutors say John D'Amico, also known as Jackie the Nose, who allegedly is the acting boss of the family, and associate Joseph Watts are charged in the 1989 murder of Frederick Weiss, who the defendants believed was serving as a federal government witness.

The indictment also charges D'Amico with racketeering conspiracy involving murder, extortion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and gambling. Watts was arrested Wednesday morning in Manhattan. 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, On September 11, 1989, 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 allegedly among those involved in carrying out the order.

From at least 1986, prosecutors say D'Amico was also involved in conspiring with other members and associates of the Gambino 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 allegedly 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 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, the 72-year-old D'Amico and 67-year-old Watts face a maximum sentence of life in prison.


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