10 Years Off Scarpa Junior's Sentence

a Brooklyn federal judge deleted 10 years from the 40-year sentence that Gregory Scarpa Jr., 64, was given in 1999
Greg Scarpa Junior

For assisting the FBI's anti-terrorism efforts, a Brooklyn federal judge deleted 10 years from the 40-year sentence that Gregory Scarpa Jr., 64, was given in 1999, though Scarpa will most likely die before his release date.

According to reports, the Daily News and Post stories highlighted only the iceberg's tip in terms of the degree to which Scarpa Junior cooperated as well as the amount and ramifications of the information he provided. Scarpa -- today given a 2025 release date -- has nasopharyngeal squamous cell cancer, which gives him a lifespan of possibly five years. The cancer "will probably kill him within the next five years" before he will ever benefit from the ruling, Justice Edward Korman noted in his decision.

Scarpa Junior, a former Colombo soldier, tipped off the FBI about a hidden stash of explosives, which the FBI initially had missed following a 1995 search of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols's basement.

“By the time he is released, assuming he lives that long, he will have served the maximum sentence for his conviction for RICO conspiracy to commit murder — the most serious offense for which he was sentenced,” Korman writes.

Scarpa Jr. told the Fed's about Nicols’ stockpiled explosives in 2005, after the duo served a stint in Colorado’s Supermax prison.

Scarpa also offered Intel regarding 1993 World Trade Cener bomber Ramzi Youseff.

Judge Korman showed his hand during the proceedings today. By rewarding Scarpa (even if he dies in prison anyway) he was seeking to incentive other potential informants serving time to step forward.

“Incarcerated individuals, as a group, are not motivated to provide assistance without some realistic hope of attaining some benefit,” he wrote, the Post noted.

A Conspiracy Theorist's Dream
The FBI will never recall either Scarpa with fondness.

The father, aka The Grim Reaper, was a capo in the Colombo family who talked to the Fed's even before "Joe Cago" -- Valachi -- burst onto the scene. Scarpa offered intel on New York's five Cosa Nostra families on a periodic basis. Some of it was even accurate; all of it was self-serving. 

Scarpa provided other services as well. In 1964, the FBI, under enormous pressure to solve the "MissBurn" case, sent Scarpa to Mississippi to locate the body of three civil rights workers. It wasn't the only time the Fed's sent Scarpa to Mississippi, either.

In return for his services, the FBI kept Scarpa out of prison. Specifically FBI agent Lin DeVecchio, Scarpa's last handler (his other, Anthony Villano, wrote Brick Agent, basing two characters on Scarpa). Critics have speculated that DeVecchio's moral compass lost true north -- and that he may have even provided Scarpa with intel that enabled Scarpa to pull off key hits as part of the Colombo war of the early 1990s. (Apparently a federal judge also holds this dim view of the retired FBI agent.)

Junior passed on a plethora of intel about planned terrorist activity, too complex to go into in this space. You can download Scarpa Junior's 302s regarding his terrorism intel here, as a PDF.

Aside from all the terrorism intel, Scarpa Junior also was set to testify for the prosecution in DeVecchio's trial.Critics speculate that since more than 75 trials of many mob figures depended on the retired agent's reputation, the decision was made to not credit Scarpa Junior for providing any assistance in terms of the terrorism intel he provided. He was labelled a scam artist perpetuating a hoax.Yet that doesn't change the fact that Junior passed along Yousef's comment that Islamic terrorists "will like hijacking airplanes so much that they will become addicted to them" --  in February 1997.

Not helping Scarpa Junior is the fact that he is personally believed by NYPD law enforcement to have murdered more than 20 people during his Mafia career on the street. The bottom line, for this writer anyway, is how many lives would've been saved if the FBI had acted in good faith on the intel Scarpa Junior provided them. At the very least, he raised the unthinkable notion of terrorists flying airplanes into buildings in 1997, around five years prior to Sept. 11, 2001.