Monday, March 7, 2011

Gangsters flip on '92 mob 'killer' Neil Messina

Mob Killer Testimony from two flipped mobsters has led to charges in a 20-year-old murder case, newly filed court papers reveal.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn accuse Bonanno crime-family associate Neil Messina of killing a man in a failed August 1992 home-invasion robbery

One of the government witnesses is Nicky Lanza, who was Messina's accomplice in the crime, according to defense lawyer Gerald McMahon.

Lanza is a reputed former Bonanno associate who has been a cooperating government witness since his house was firebombed several years ago, McMahon said.

Investigators probing the murder also tried to catch Messina discussing his recollection of the crime by sending another government informant to talk to him, McMahon wrote.

Peter Tagliavia, a Colombo-family associate, wore a wire and taped Messina saying he had done some "bad thingInvestigators probing the murder also tried to catch Messina discussing his recollection of the crime by sending another government informant to talk to him, McMahon wrote.

Peter Tagliavia, a Colombo-family associate, wore a wire and taped Messina saying he had done some "bad things" in the past with Lanza, according to court documents and a source.

McMahon argues that the evidence provided by both informants is weak and should not be used to keep Messina from getting bail while awaiting trial on racketeering and murder charges. The feds want to keep him behind bars.