Defense attorneys question legality of wiretaps in Lucchese betting ring trial

Joseph DiNapoli is accused of
being part of a Luchese family
ruling panel.
"Law enforcement says it intercepted more than 30,000 messages between members of a $2 billion sports betting ring allegedly run by the Lucchese crime family, but the defense asserts they may not be admissible in court," reports

The defense wants to examine the eavesdropping devices to learn whether they can comply with a rule limiting bugs to two minutes -- unless criminal activity is discussed.

Prosecutors opposed the request, which seemed likely to slow one of New Jersey’s most notorious organized crime cases, already four years old.

"During a conference today in Superior Court in Morristown, several defense attorneys questioned the legality of the devices used in the case against 31 people accused of participating in a $2 billion sports betting and money laundering ring allegedly run by the Lucchese crime family for a 15-month period ending in December 2007," writes.

Attorney Paul S. Chiaramonte, representing Joseph DiNapoli, 75, of Scarsdale, N.Y., a reputed member of the Lucchese family’s "ruling panel," said the defense attorneys would like to have an expert examine the eavesdropping devices as part of the ongoing "discovery" phase of the case.

Some members of the ring are also accused of smuggling drugs and cell phones into East Jersey State Prison in Woodbridge.