Ex-mob boss: FBI agent tipped off arrest

AP News
Posted: Apr 14, 2011 5:31 PM

The highest-ranking New York Mafia member to ever testify for the government claims a crooked FBI agent gave the mob a tip that he was going to be arrested in 1982.

Joseph Massino told jurors at a Brooklyn murder trial on Thursday that the tip allowed him to "go on the lamb" in the Poconos and avoid prosecution for two years.

The convicted ex-boss of the Bonnano organized crime family is testifying against his successor, former acting boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano.

Prosecutors say Massino secretly recorded Basciano in 2005 admitting he ordered a hit on an associate who broke the strict rules of the secretive Bonannos. The defendant denies the charge.

The 68-year-old Massino testified that by taking the stand he hopes to see his life sentence reduced.