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Interesting Luna coincidences

Second FBI agent charged
with aiding mob murders

Posted April 2, 2006 -- For the second time in two and a half years, a FBI agent has been charged with helping FBI mob informants to commit murder.


The banal face of evil: Former FBI agent H. Paul Rico (top); below, millionaire Roger Wheeler, whom Agent Rico helped the mob to kill

On March 30, 2006, Brooklyn, NY, District Attorney Charles J. Hynes announced the arrest and indictment of retired FBI Agent Roy Lindley DeVecchio and two other men, Craig Sobel and John Sinagra, associated with the Colombo crime family, who have all been implicated in mafia murders from 1987 to 1992. 

In a press release issued by his office, DA Hynes reports, "The murders all took place when DeVecchio was assigned to work with FBI 'top echelon informant' and Colombo Family kingpin Greg The Grim Reaper Scarpa, in Brooklyn. Sobel and Sinagra are charged with being triggermen in two mob hits, and DeVecchio is charged with acting in concert in four mob-related killings.

"'This is the most stunning example of official corruption that I have ever seen,' said District Attorney Hynes. 'Four people were murdered with the help of a federal law enforcement agent who was charged with keeping them safe. Lindley DeVecchio deserves the maximum sentence of 25 years to life for each of these killings.'

The press release continues, "The first murder victim, Mary Bari, 31, was the stunning brunette girlfriend of Colombo consigliore Alphonse Persico, brother of then Colombo Family boss, Carmine Persico. The indictment charges DeVecchio told Scarpa that Bari had been speaking to federal authorities and should be taken care of. On September 25, 1984, she was shot and killed in a Brooklyn social club by Scarpa and other members of the Colombo crime family.

"DeVecchio is also charged with urging Scarpa to kill Joseph DeDomenico, a Colombo soldier who was considered a threat, because he had been using drugs, committing crimes without involving Scarpa and courting Born-Again Christianity. DeDomenico, 45, was killed September 17, 1987, by Scarpa and other Colombo associates. 

"Sobel is charged with firing two blasts from a sawed-off shotgun that killed 17-year-old Dominick Masseria on the steps of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on 15th Avenue and 72nd Street in Brooklyn, October 31, 1989. Earlier that Halloween night Masseria had been present at an egg-throwing incident which turned violent, and involved several other youths from the neighborhood. While walking home he was the victim of a drive-by shooting. Present in the car were triggerman Sobel, Joseph Scarpa -- Greg Scarpa's teenage son -- and his friend Patrick Porco. 

"In May of 1990 Porco was questioned by detectives at the 62nd Precinct about Masseria's murder. DeVecchio contacted Greg Scarpa to tell him that Porco, 18, had been speaking to authorities about Joseph Scarpa's involvement in the Masseria shooting. Sinagra is charged with carrying out a Scarpa-ordered hit on Porco, to prevent him from speaking about Masseria. 

"The final murder charged is of a criminal rival of Scarpa's, Lorenzo Lampasi, during the war within the Colombo crime family. Scarpa informed DeVecchio that he wanted to kill Lampasi, 66, and DeVecchio is charged with providing Scarpa critical information -- obtained during law-enforcement surveillance --  regarding Lampasi's address and personal habits. May 22, 1992 Lampasi was murdered in his driveway at 4 a.m., the time that Lampasi left his home every morning."

DeVecchio's arrest hearing was attended by a row of past and present FBI agents, who turned out in a show of support for the retired agent.

Second arrest of agent in little more than 2 years

In October, 2003, less than two months before the mysterious murder of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna, another retired FBI agent, Paul Rico, was arrested and arraigned for the 1981 murder of Tulsa, Oklahoma, businessman Roger Wheeler. Agent Rico had been a longtime FBI handler of mobster Whitey Bulger, of Boston.

Murder victim Wheeler had been chairman of Telex Corporation, and the owner of World Jai Alai, a gambling establishment in Florida, where Rico had worked as head of security after his retirement from the FBI.

Even in retirement, Agent Rico remained in business with his mob informants. Murder-victim Wheeler came to suspect that Boston mobsters were skimming money from Jai Alai. Wheeler's head of security, former Agent Rico, arranged his murder. One day after a round of golf in Tulsa, Wheeler was shot in the head.

Coincidences with Luna case

This scenario -- dirty FBI agents aiding FBI mob informants -- seems among the most likely explanation for the murder of Jonathan Luna. Consider the following:

-- At the time of his death, Luna was resisting covering up grievous mismanagement problems in the FBI's Baltimore field office, including severe problems with FBI informants.

-- Luna was involved in a high-stakes heroin case, in which the drugs had been supplied by New York City organized crime figures.

-- Luna, coincidentally, worked as an assistant district attorney in the Brooklyn DA's office in 1997.

In December 2003, Luna's body was found face down in a stream in Pennsylvania. He had been stabbed 36 times.

As in the cases of bad-acting agents Rico and DeVecchio, the FBI in the Luna case has proven unable or unwilling to uncover the misdeeds of its own agents. Both the Rico and DeVecchio cases came to light following the involvement of congressional committees.