Boston mobster posing as Idaho rancher gets 28 years for attempted murder

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 29, 2014 3:26 PM

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A Boston mobster living as a rancher under an assumed name in a remote Idaho town has been sentenced to 28 years in prison after being convicted of attempted murder and racketeering charges, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Enrico M. Ponzo, 45, was known by the FBI as a fugitive member of La Cosa Nostra in New England, but residents of the southwest Idaho community of Marsing knew him simply as Jay Shaw, a stay-at-home dad who didn't seem too comfortable around the 10 cows he kept on 12 acres, neighbors said.

Annie Campbell, whose home is two miles from Ponzo's former ranch west of Marsing, said the mobster-turned-rancher lived for nine years without fanfare in a rural area known for its "live and let live" philosophy.

"He wasn't a big shot - but there are very few big shots here," she said.

The farming community of 1,000 was shocked to learn of Ponzo's past when authorities arrested him in Idaho in 2011, Campbell said.

Ponzo's sentencing on Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston came after a seven-week trial last year in which a jury found him guilty of multiple felonies related to a bid in 1989 for control of organized crime in the greater Boston area, authorities said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Gunna Dickson)