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Killer who testified against Bonanno crime boss Vincent Basciano is jailed for 10 years

A former mobster who helped convict Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday despite being involved in multiple murders.
/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

A former New York mobster who turned against the Mafia and helped convict Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, then acting boss of the Bonanno crime family, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday despite being involved in multiple murders.

Prosecutors said Dominick Cicale, 44, was convicted of racketeering and involvement in two murders and assaults in aid of racketeering. He avoided a maximum life sentence by agreeing to turn against his former crime-world associates, according to a motion filed in court on Monday by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York.

He was sentenced to 10 years prison and was given credit for about seven years already served.

The New York Daily News reported that Cicale was "expected to get an extra 18 months shaved off for good behavior" and could be released from prison and into the witness protection program as early as next year.

Prosecutors said that Cicale, who grew up in the Bronx in New York City, ascended the ranks of the Bonanno family from 1999 until his arrest in January 2005, during which time he took part in two "brutal" murders and other violence on the crime family's behalf.

He began cooperating with the government in January 2006, the prosecution's motion said, giving information and testimony that helped convict Basciano and a dozen other reputed Bonanno family members.

'Wake-up call'
The prosecution's motion argued for a lenient sentence for Cicale based on his help to the government.

In February 2001, during his tenure with the Bonanno family, Cicale took part in the fatal shooting of Frank Santoro, who was out walking his dog near his home in the Bronx, the motion said. Basciano, the acting boss, had ordered the killing on suspicion that Santoro was planning to kidnap his son, prosecutors said.

In December 2004, Cicale orchestrated the murder of Randolph Pizzolo, an associate of the mob family that Basciano had ordered killed as a "wake-up call", the motion said.

The prosecution's motion said Cicale had since proved an "important and effective" government witness.

"While he has engaged in a multitude of crimes, including three murders, he has nonetheless provided information and testimony that has put dangerous criminals behind bars," the prosecutor's motion said.

Russell Neufeld, Cicale's lawyer, declined to comment on Monday.

According to the Daily News, Cicale said he was "ashamed" and "remorseful."

"There is not a single day that passes that I don't pray for the souls of my victims,” the newspaper quoted Cicale as saying. "I will have to live with the torment of my actions for the rest of my life."