Genovese Mobster Arrested For Yonker's Murder Linked To Genovese Crime Family Power Play, Feds Say

John Tortora (Johnny T), an alleged Genovese crime family mobster, was arrested today (August 2) for the 20-year-old cold case murder of a man stabbed multiple times as part of an alleged plot to increase the Genovese crime family's power, said federal authorities.

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr.

Richard Ortiz, 29, was murdered in Yonkers on November 11, 1997.

Tortora was arrested this morning in Yonkers by FBI agents and Yonkers PD detectives. He was to appear later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan.

The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Sidney H. Stein. An initial pretrial conference is scheduled for August 14, 2018, at 3:00 p.m., before Judge Stein.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said: “As alleged in the indictment, the defendant was responsible for the stabbing death of Richard Ortiz over 20 years ago. Today, thanks to the remarkable dedication and perseverance of the FBI and the Yonkers Police Department, the defendant faces charges for his crimes.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “The arrest of John Tortora should remind everyone that justice delayed is not justice denied. Whether a crime was allegedly committed decades ago or just days ago, the FBI will maintain the same tenacity and we will be relentless toward ensuring those who commit violent crimes be held accountable for their actions. The FBI New York Office never does these investigations alone, and we want to thank the Yonkers Police Department for their help in successfully solving a case from more than 20 years ago.”

Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said: “This arrest for the 1997 murder of Mr. Ortiz demonstrates the resolve and commitment of law enforcement to hold those accountable for their actions and serves as a warning to all members of La Cosa Nostra engaging in violent criminal activity in our communities. We will continue to work with our federal partners to aggressively target alleged criminals and criminal enterprises operating in our City.”

According to the allegations in the indictment and statements made in court:

From in or about 1997 up to and including in or about 2018, Tortora, an associate and later a member of the Genovese Crime Family, along with other members and associates of La Cosa Nostra, committed a wide range of crimes, including murder, extortion, gambling, and narcotics trafficking. In particular, Tortora hired others to kill Richard Ortiz in order to further the goals of the Genovese Family. As a result, on November 11, 1997, Ortiz was brutally stabbed multiple times, causing his death.

Tortora , 61, of Yonkers, New York, is charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, and murder for hire. A chart showing the charges and maximum penalties for each count of the Indictment is below. The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress.

Conspiracy to commit racketeering
Life in prison

Murder in aid of racketeering
Mandatory life in prison or the death penalty

Murder for hire
Mandatory life in prison or the death penalty

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Lonergan, Jessica Fender, and Lauren Schorr are in charge of the prosecution. The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.