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Wednesday, 26 November 2008

William D'Elia, 62, became the latest alleged American Mafia leader to turn government informant


00:43 |

William D'Elia, 62, became the latest alleged American Mafia leader to turn government informant as he was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for witness tampering and conspiracy to launder drug money. With time already served, he could be freed in seven years — or less.Federal prosecutors agreed to recommend a reduction in D'Elia's sentence if he continues to provide substantial assistance to the Dauphin County district attorney's office, which has charged Mount Airy Resort Casino owner Louis DeNaples with perjury.DeNaples allegedly lied to state gambling regulators about his friendship with D'Elia, whom authorities once called a "major player" in organized crime. DeNaples says he is innocent and accuses D'Elia of lying to authorities in a bid to shave time off his prison sentence.
In court Monday, the silver-haired, 6-foot-3 D'Elia stood before U.S. District Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie and apologized for his crimes."At this time, I would like to accept responsibility for my actions and apologize to your honor," said D'Elia, who had requested a sentence of seven years. "I hope that I will soon be able to resume my life with my family in a positive, honorable and productive way and care for them once more."Though he spent more than 20 years under law enforcement surveillance, D'Elia was never charged with a crime until May 2006, when prosecutors accused him of laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds through the creation of bogus companies, loans and consulting agreements.Five months later, prosecutors charged him with trying to arrange the murder of a co-conspirator, Frank Pavlico III, after D'Elia found out that Pavlico was cooperating with the government.Pavlico had worn a wire and recorded conversations with D'Elia. He pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced in January to 10 months in federal prison.D'Elia, of Hughestown, was originally charged with 18 counts, including solicitation of murder. Prosecutors dropped most of the charges when D'Elia pleaded guilty last March.


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