Nationwide Manhunt for Armond Dellacroce
NEW YORK (AP) _ Two days after he failed to appear for sentencing, authorities say they have received no tips to the whereabouts of the son of the late reputed underboss of the Gambino organized crime family.
Armond Dellacroce, 31, became the subject of a nationwide manhunt after he dropped from sight Monday, when he was scheduled to be sentenced on a racketeering charge.
While city and federal agents searched Dellacroce’s haunts on Staten Island and in Manhattan’s Little Italy, officials said they did not believe Dellacroce had been killed.
″Until we find out otherwise, we cannot assume that,″ said U.S. Marshal Charles E. Healey of Brooklyn.
He said officials had received no tips on where Dellacroce might be.
″I have no reason to believe that anything untoward happened to him,″ said Dellacroce’s attorney, Jerry Shargel, who last spoke with his client nearly a week ago.
Dellacroce, his father Aniello Dellacroce, and reputed Gambino boss John Gotti were indicted with seven others last March on racketeering and conspiracy charges.
Dellacroce pleaded guilty last December to one count of racketeering conspiracy shortly after his father died at the age of 71 of natural causes.
Both prosecution and defense lawyers said Dellacroce was not cooperating with the government and was not going to testify against Gotti.
The younger Dellacroce’s disappearance was the third instance in recent weeks of somebody connected to a Gotti case failing to make a court date.
Last month, an FBI informant and former Gotti associate failed to appear to testify at a pretrial hearing in the racketeering case.
Federal officials said the witness, William Battista, an unindicted co- conspirator with Gotti, had disappeared from an FBI safehouse late in January and was believed in hiding.
On March 20, a Queens mechanic who accused Gotti and another man of assaulting and robbing him did not appear to testify against the two.
Police produced the mechanic four days later, but he said he could not identify Gotti and the other defendant. The charges were dismissed.
Law-enforcement officials have said Gotti, 45, of Queens, is the successor to the late Paul Castellano, the reputed head of the Gambino organization. Castellano, then on trial in federal court in Manhattan, was gunned down last December, two weeks after the elder Dellacroce died.
The younger Dellacroce was free on $250,000 bond pending sentencing.
Releasing Dellacroce on bond was ″a judgment call based on the security he posted and the circumstances of his father’s death,″ said Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Giacalone.