Five Facts About Ex-Fugitive Ponzo

Former stone-cold gangster Enrico M. Ponzo has for the past 17 years been living in hiding in Idaho under the assumed name of Jeffrey John Shaw. Many people thought he had been murdered or otherwise killed during those missing years, but in fact he'd been leading the life of a rancher (apparently not a very good rancher); the FBI and U.S. Marshals arrested him last month.

Among the highlights of his pre-rancher career in organized crime: he and three others attempted to whack the former head (now informer for the Feds) of the ruling crime family in New England: the Patriarcas. He and his men shot said former boss "Cadillac" Salemme in 1989 at a Pancake House in Saugus; they were unsuccessful.

Residents of Marsing, Idaho, where Ponzo settled down,  said they'd always had a few suspicions about "Jay," who was remarkably skilled with firearms and remarkably bad at ranching.

AOL's Surge Desk, which prides itself on find unique twists on in-demand news stories, has focused on Ponzo, compiling five facts about "the man who didn't get away." Nothing earth-shattering here, but some of it's kind of interesting. I'd like to dive into the Idaho Statesman story and find out more about his life as a rancher who sucked at ranching.

1. He's charged with attempted murder

Ponzo was allegedly involved with the New England mafia in the 1980s. Authorities say he was involved in the 1989 attempted murder of "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, former head of the Patriarca family.

2. He has a lengthy rap sheet

In 1994, Ponzo was arrested on drug charges, and additional warrants were issued when he failed to appear in court. Authorities believe he went on the lam around this time. Two years later he was charged with aggravated assault in Everett, Mass., and a federal jury subsequently indicted him on a number of charges related to these and other incidents, including conspiracy to commit murder.

3. It took a lot of people to find him

FBI officials in Massachusetts and Idaho worked with a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force; the Treasure Valley (Idaho) Metro Violent Crime Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and local authorities to track and arrest Ponzo.

4. He tried to start a new life in Idaho

The Idaho Statesman reports that the 42-year-old Ponzo lived on a 12-acre homestead with his girlfriend, Cara Lyn Pace, and two young children. The couple said they had been together for a long time and that "Jay" did Web design and computer work in addition to maintaining his ranch. Pace reportedly moved out with the kids at Christmas, prompting Ponzo to file a custody suit.

5. He managed to make some friends

Ponzo helped his neighbors with their computer problems, The Statesman notes, and he attended dinners at their homes. He also got involved with managing local irrigation issues. The owner of a local restaurant described him as "quiet and very friendly."


  1. If the Goverment can let a Cooperator, get away with 5 years for 19 Murders, Then this Guy for Trully Cahnging His Life should be released immediatly. This is the perfect case of Repenting, and a Proven Change, of a Desparado.


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