BOSTON - A Boston man was charged today in federal court with 18 counts of racketeering, drug trafficking, witness tampering and other charges.
Enrico Ponzo, a/k/a Jeffrey John Shaw, a/k/a Jay Shaw, 44, of Boston, Mass., and Marsing, Idaho, was charged in a superseding indictment with racketeering (RICO) conspiracy including conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon; conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute; multiple counts of using, possessing, or carrying a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime; conspiracy to use extortionate means to collect or attempt to collect extensions of credit; use of extortionate means to collect or attempt to collect extensions of credit; conspiracy to commit extortion; extortion and attempted extortion; unlawful flight to avoid prosecution; conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana; conspiracy to launder monetary instruments; laundering of monetary instruments; witness tampering; and forfeiture.
According to the superseding indictment, from June 1989 through December 1994, the Patriarca Family of La Cosa Nostra (“Family”) engaged in various criminal activities, including multiple acts involving murder, racketeering, extortionate credit transactions, extortion and conspiracy. In or about 1991, Francis P. Salemme, a/k/a Frank Salemme, became Boss of the Family. Ponzo and his co-conspirators are alleged to have acted to usurp control of the Family by plotting and attempting to murder Salemme and others who were loyal to Salemme, or who were viewed as rivals in their efforts to control the organized criminal activity in the greater Boston area. It is further alleged that Ponzo and his co-conspirators derived income from illegal activities including extortion, loan sharking, and narcotics distribution, and to have utilized violence and the threat of violence to further their aims.
It is alleged that Ponzo and his co-conspirators engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity that included murdering and conspiring to murder Richard Devlin and Joseph Souza, and conspiring and attempting to murder Salemme, Richard Gillis, Joseph Cirame, Michael Prochilo, Stephen Rossetti and Timothy Lawrence O’Toole, Jr. It is further alleged that Ponzo and his co-conspirators conspired to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, and that they committed various other criminal acts including extortion, the use of extortionate means to collect extensions of credit, and using, possessing, or carrying a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking offense.
According to the superseding indictment, from approximately October 1994 through February 7, 2011, Ponzo fled with the intent to avoid prosecution. Ponzo had been a fugitive for more than 16 years when he was apprehended in Idaho in February 2011.
It is further alleged that between approximately October 1994 and March 1999, Ponzo conspired with others to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than a ton of marijuana, and at other times to have engaged in acts of money laundering and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and witness tampering.
The maximum sentence under the statute is up to life in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each of the racketeering charges. The maximum penalty on the drug trafficking offenses is up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, no less than five years of supervised release and a $10 million fine on each count.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Tabak and Karen Beausey of Ortiz’s Organized Crime Strike Force and Drug Task Force Units.
The details contained in the superseding indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.