United States: Bribery Charges Against Former NY DEA Agent Mired in Anti-Italian Bias: Lawyer

The indictment of a former federal agent charged with pocketing $250,000 in bribes to protect the Mafia is rooted in a “racial animus” toward Italian Americans, his lawyer contends.

Federal prosecutors have failed to identify “a single penny” Joseph Bongiovanni took from gangsters in Buffalo, New York, during his two decades with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, his defense attorney alleges in new court filings. “The government has noticed that all of the participants have Italian last names, and as such, has imagined the existence of an Italian-American organized crime syndicate,” the attorney, James Harrington, wrote in the filings.

He said the criminal organization cited by prosecutors, the Buffalo Crime Family, “does not appear to exist, yet the lore of the Italian mafia is so pervasive in our society that the government can benefit just from alleging a connection without having to prove it.”

The original full article can be found at nbcnewyork.com

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