An alleged New England organized crime figure who lived the life of a Western rancher while on the run from the law is due in US District Court in Worcester today.
Enrico Ponzo, 42, was among 15 people indicted in 1997 by a federal grand jury investigating organized crime in New England. He has been on the run since 1994, and is the last of 15 defendants in the mob case to be prosecuted.
According to the FBI and the Idaho Statesman newspaper, Ponzo was living under the alias "Jeffrey John Shaw" in the small ranching town of Marsing, Idaho. Neighbors told the Idaho newspaper that “Shaw’’ knew little about ranching, but learned enough over the years to run 12 head of cattle on his 12-acre ranch.
The Idaho newspaper also reported that “Shaw’s’’ long time girlfriend left him in 2010, alleging in court papers that he was an alcoholic who was becoming a threat to her and her two young children.
The sweeping federal indictment against Ponzo and 14 other reputed mobsters was aimed at ending the violence when a civil war broke out in 1989 between factions of what was then known as the Patriarca crime family.
Ponzo is charged with the attempted murder of Francis P. "Cadillac Frank" Salemme outside a Saugus pancake house in 1989.
Ponzo, among other charges, is accused of racketeering, conspiracy to murder multiple individuals in aid of racketeering, and the attempted murder of Everett cafe manager Joseph C. Cirame on Sept. 16, 1994. He also faces drug charges.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
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