Prosecutors Nail 'Bobby Glasses' with Funeral Pics

From the

1999  - COMMON MAN: Bartolomeo
Vernace (at left in each photo) was
snapped at multiple Mafia funerals.
The pix are evidence in his Brooklyn
double-murder trial.
Dozens of surveillance photos showing New York mobsters hobnobbing at a succession of funerals spanning two decades are key evidence in the Mafia double-murder trial of a Gambino capo in Brooklyn federal court.

The “15 Funerals and Two Stiffs” twist in the trial of Bartolomeo “Bobby Glasses” Vernace is intended to convince jurors the mob boss was not merely paying his respects — but also actively engaged in Mafia business when he consorted with other wiseguys at the send-offs.

The feds are trying to prove that the 1981 murder of Queens tavern owners Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese was part of the Gambinos’ racketeering activities — and not just a barroom shooting that began with a spilled drink.


Assistant US Attorney Amir Toossi highlighted one particular photo for the jury — which resumes deliberations today — showing Vernace walking 150 feet away from a wake for a chat with mobster Domenico “Italian Dom” Cefalu.

The meeting between Vernace, then a rising star who later sat on the Gambino family’s three-member ruling panel, and Cefalu, who reputedly was made Gambino boss in 2011 — along with an earlier 1999 meeting between the two at Romanelli’s Funeral Home in Queens — showcases Vernace’s ranking status in the crime family, officials say.

Another snapshot shows Vernace, now 63, with Gambino capo Louis Mastrangelo at a 2009 wake at Leone’s Funeral Home in Brooklyn, also underscoring Vernace’s senior position in the mob, the feds say.

More pictures record Vernace attending a wake with Gambino mobster Ronald “Ronnie the Jew” Barlin, who prosecutors say joined Vernace in committing the 1981 double murder that helped raise Vernace’s stature in the family.

Prosecutors gave jurors photos from at least 12 other Vernace-attended funerals and wakes to chew over in considering the racketeering case.

Attending funerals to remember loved ones or friends allows mobsters to argue that they’re just participating in community events that are integral to daily life.

But the feds counter that these gatherings give wiseguys “cover,” because meeting in an abandoned warehouse or on a decaying waterfront pier would help the feds accuse them of racketeering.

The surveillance photos also capture imagery stereotypically associated with mob life: hard-looking men, cigarettes dangling from their mouths, plenty of black leather jackets and the occasional woman in leopard print.