Greg Scarpa Jr's Symbolic Appeal Victory Plucked Away

A New York federal appeals court ruled last Thursday that the 40-year sentence imposed on Gregory Scarpa Jr. in 1999 will be reinstated.

Gregory Scarpa Jr
Law enforcement pins 24 homicides to Junior.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court judge "had overstepped his authority by shaving 10 years off the sentence," as the New York Times reported.

Scarpa, while imprisoned, helped the government find leftover explosives from the Oklahoma City bombing.

A retired NYPD homicide detective told us previously that Scarpa Junior was personally linked to 24 gangland hits.

"He's never getting out," the source told us. "They might have moved him to make him more comfortable now that everything has settled down."

In January 2016, we reported that Scarpa, who is dying of a terminal illness, had been given a reduction of 10 years from the 40-year prison sentence, his reward for assisting the FBI's anti-terrorism efforts. Scarpa Jr., 65, will most likely die before his release date, with or without the reduction.

Scarpa -- whose 2025 release date resets to 2035 -- has nasopharyngeal squamous cell cancer, which gives him a possible lifespan of four more years.  

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.

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.

By rewarding Scarpa (even if he dies in prison) the judge was seeking to give incentive to other potential informants behind bars to step forward.

One thing is certain here. The FBI will never recall either Gregory Scarpa with even a hint of fondness or nostalgia.

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. 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.

In its decision Thursday, the appeals court overturned the previous appeal, ruling that once a defendant has been sentenced, “the circumstances in which the court is authorized to reduce his sentence are limited.”

“The record in the present case amply supports the government’s contention that its refusal to make such a motion for Scarpa was based on legitimate government concerns,” the court wrote, adding that Scarpa had previously lied about Yousef, among other things.

“Such fraudulent cries of ‘Wolf’ not only cause the misallocation of government resources,” the court found, “but they also make less likely an appropriate government response if the man who cried ‘Wolf’ subsequently sounds an alarm that is genuine.”

Scarpa can ask the appeals court to reconsider or he can appeal to the United States Supreme Court.


  1. Its hard to feel sympathy in any direction when it comes to the FBI and the Scarpa's... There seems to have been so much shady and questionable behavior from both camps for decades. I originally read DeVechios book and was fairly convinced that he was not corrupt. So many different incidents regarding the FBI's scandalous behavior and tactics over the years has come out due to The Freedom Of Information Act that has tarnished their reputation badly. I always considered the Feds and US Attorneys to be cutthroats but not on such a sordid level. Obviously I enjoy reading about Organized Crime and History but I dont admire ruthless killers either. I don't actually look up to these guys. In any other case Id say thats fucked up to add the 10 years back on but with that whole Soap Opera I wouldnt even know where to begin haha...Especially lately with the Feds trying to save face after all their screwed up cases. The whole thing is a clusterfuck. I can see letting old man Franzese out after spending half his life in prison on some bogus charges. He must be a tough old piece of meat that guy!

    1. Hey Ed also As soon as I can I will throw a donation your way. Things are tight but I'll do what I can like always.. this new format doesn't seem to use my old handle
      (Puffdaugherty). Not sure why? Though I'm not the most tech savy Irishmen out there lol

    2. Yes I'm not crazy about this default comment system either; it's just Disqus wasn't worth it. It places so much display advertising and takes forever to load and pays peanuts. They use your blog to make money for themselves-- and Google truly penalizes you now... I'm considering using a Facebook plugin or some other system that allows more functionality. If you logout of this comment system though, you'll see that can log back in in a variety of ways -- including truly anonymously.., thanks as always!!

    3. As to Scarpa, it's the pattern that concerns me -- there were other Colombo witnesses who got away with murder, literally. You also have the corollary of Whitey Bulger only his former FBI handler is living a very very different kind if life that Lin!

  2. Yea it does seem brutal what some apparently get away with and others doing life sentences for very similar actions. Like I said though, its so murky on all sides ya never know what to believe anymore.


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