Ailing Brooklyn mobster blamed in 1980s killings wins compassionate release from prison

Noah Goldberg, New York Daily News
·3 min read

Ailing Brooklyn mobster Gregory Scarpa Jr. caught a break Wednesday when a judge ended his 32-year prison stretch on racketeering murder charges by ordering his compassionate release.

Scarpa, 69, a former Colombo crime family boss turned prison snitch — he helped the government probes of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — is currently at a federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house in Kansas City, Kan., records show.

“I do not minimize the evil acts Mr. Scarpa committed over the course of his criminal career,” wrote Brooklyn Federal Judge Edward Korman in ordering Scarpa’s release.

“The reality, however, is that Mr. Scarpa is a seriously ill man who is unable to care for himself and has little prospect of recidivating.”

Among Scarpa’s many illnesses behind bars has been a late-stage cancer, for which he’s received radiation and chemotherapy and surgeries, including the removal of a tumor that left a hole in his throat.

Doctors removed Scarpa’s salivary glands during the surgeries — and now he “regularly chokes” on his food, to the point where he has had to learn to be able to do the Heimlich maneuver on himself, the judge wrote.

In healthier times, Scarpa Jr. — whose father was also a famous murderous Colombo family associate — was a high ranking member of the crime family, often requesting permission from leaders to kill perceived enemies.

He was convicted in 1998 of a large-scale racketeering case that the feds say involved four murders he committed. He was already incarcerated in another case before that.

In 1981, Scarpa Jr. shot Robert DiLeonardi in the head in a secluded spot on Staten Island because DiLeonardi was bragging to people about bank heists their crew had pulled off, prosecutors said.

That same year, Scarpa Jr. had his dad and Joseph DeDomenico murder limousine driver Alfred Longobardi, with whom Scarpa Jr. had a feude, said the feds.

Six years later, Scarpa Jr. murdered DeDomenico because he believed DeDomenico was “committing lucrative crimes without sharing the proceeds with other crew members,” according to federal prosecutors.

In 1983, Scarpa Jr. hatched a plan to murder Sal Cardaci, who Colombo family members believed was a rat. After members of their crew killed Cardaci, Scarpa Jr. ordered him buried in the basement of a Bensonhurst store, according to the feds.

In 1985, Scarpa Jr. was tasked with offing Anthony Frezza after Frezza murdered a member of the Gambino crime family. Scarpa Jr. shot Frezza in the head at the Scarpa home, the feds said.

Behind bars, Scarpa Jr. turned into quite a rat.

He worked as an informant behind bars for the FBI to get information from Al Qaeda terrorist and 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Youssef.

While housed in 2005 at Colorado’s “Supermax” federal prison, Scarpa learned from fellow inmate and Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols the location of some explosives hidden in Nichols’ home.

Scarpa Jr. told a private investigator that the explosives were buried in the basement of Nichols' home in Kansas, and the private eye passed it on to two congressmen who alerted the FBI. The explosives were recovered.

The judge in Scarpa Jr.'s case took ten years off his sentence for the tip, but an appeals court later reversed that decision.

Korman cited Scarpa Jr.'s aid in those cases — as well as his model prisoner behavior — in granting the compassionate release. Korman also noted that Scarpa Jr. has exhibited signs of early onset Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Court papers say Scarpa plans to live with a sister in Florida.

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