Gambino Capo Ronnie One-Arm's Complete Opening Statement From His October 2006 Trial In Miami

"It's omerta."
--The father of a woman murdered by the Young Guns, aka The Ozone Park Boys

Ronald Trucchio, a capo in the Gambino crime family, could spot talent, an innate ability that helped him put together a crew in Ozone Park, Queens, that pulled in tens of millions of dollars a year and that, in time, also operated in Florida committing just about every crime in the book. So alleged law enforcement.

Ronnie One-Arm with Peter Gotti
Ronnie One-Arm with Peter Gotti

When Trucchio, known as Ronnie One-Arm because of a childhood accident that deformed his left arm, went on trial in Miami in 2006, he represented himself, giving the opening statement, which is reproduced in its entirety below. Saying he meant no disrespect, Trucchio asked to go it alone in his racketeering and extortion trial, at least for a few days. New York lawyer Joseph Corozzo Jr. was supposed to represent him, but was stuck in a trial up north.

So, minutes before jury selection began, an alleged Gambino crime family capo announced unexpectedly that he would represent himself until his lawyer arrived.

"As far as I'm concerned, he's not my lawyer," Trucchio said, referring to replacement counsel George Vila. 

"I'm not going to speak to him, and I'm going to defend myself."

Vila, a Miami lawyer, admitted to the court that he had not read through all the case files since U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew refused to postpone the trial.

Vila had been assigned to Trucchio a year earlier, she had noted, and should have been prepared for what was expected to be an eight-week trial.

"Might as well take me out in the yard and shoot me," Trucchio responded. "I believe we're being sandbagged once again by the government."

Trucchio at that time was already serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for similar crimes in South Florida.

Trucchio was initiated into the Gambino family in 1978, according to authorities in Queens; there's disagreement, however, as the FBI pegs the year of his induction as 1989. By the time he reached his 50s, he was a capo running a number of crews and kicking up a share of their criminal earnings as "tribute" to the family's highest echelon.

Cruising the streets of his Ozone Park neighborhood in a silver Cadillac clad in $5,000 suits with a thick roll of cash in his pocket,Trucchio sought recruits. He was later described as a walking billboard for "the life." One Queens investigator once likened him to a modern-day Fagin, the Dickens character who headed a gang of thieving street urchins.

His crew -- known as The Young Guns aka the Ozone Park Boys -- brought their criminal operation south to Florida in the mid-1990s.

Trucchio's "Young Guns" operated out of an apartment in Deerfield Beach during the mid-to-late-1990s. They announced their arrival in Florida with a literal bang: three bullet-riddled bodies were found in one weekend in October 1995. Nightclub bouncer Vincent D’Angola, 27, and his ex-girlfriend, Jami Schneider, 24, were both shot to death at D’Angola’s Fort Lauderdale apartment, and D’Angola's friend, Little League coach Mark Rizzuto, 26, met the same fate in his Boca Raton apartment.

The crew was suspected of running an extensive credit-card fraud scheme, and robbing jewelry stores, armored cars, and supermarkets in both New York and Florida, according to federal and local law enforcement officials.

Crew leader Martin Bosshart, who was whacked in 2002, once ran a block-sized chop shop operation in Queens and kept the apartment in Deerfield Beach where crew members from Ozone Park would come for a few months, commit crimes, then return, to be replaced by other crew members. Bosshart also worked as a promoter at the Crystal Palace nightclub in Oakland Park and used the aliases Marty Scireca and Marty Ryan in Florida, according to Fort Lauderdale police.

Fear prevented anyone from cooperating with authorities against Ronnie One-Arm and his crew. As an apparent warning, two of D'Angola's friends were stabbed after his wake .

"It's omerta," said Mitch Schneider, Jami's father, referring to the Mafia's oath of secrecy, the violation of which is a death sentence.

The triple slayings led to the creation of a joint state and federal task force that hunted the Young Guns all the way back to Queens, where they found that Trucchio, the Gambino capo, gave the orders. In time the taskforce investigation resulted in the indictments of Trucchio and 11 crew members.

Jojo Corozzo and Ronnie One-Arm.
Jojo Corozzo and, towering over him like a giant, Ronnie One-Arm.

Several cases converged at once on Ronnie One-Arm.

The Gambino capo was facing City and State charges when the Department of Justice indicted him and nine others on racketeering charges that put him on the path to the life sentence he's now serving at Lewisburg USP. Arrested with him was a group of young mobsters from Queens and Long Island including Darren Sirrota, Frank Roccaforte, Kevin Antinuche, Gennaro Bruno, Edward Callegari, Robert Bucholz, Joseph Kondrotos, Valentino Nucci and Dave Prevete.

Trucchio was charged with being the capo-regime who organized and planned many of the crimes, and mediated disputes. He was also accused of intimidating government witnesses during trials.

Trucchio had pleaded guilty to his role in a $30 million gambling ring that operated out of two Ozone Park locations. The operation allegedly netted over $600,000 per week in sports bets. The indictment also alleged that Trucchio had conspired to engage in racketeering, murder, robbery, arson, extortion, kidnapping, drug trafficking, tampering with witnesses, retaliating against witnesses, credit card fraud, intrastate travel in aid of racketeering activity, interference with commerce by threats and violence, interstate transportation of stolen property, and thefts from interstate shipments.

Authorities alleged that Trucchio had been running this crew since 1986.

As the man at the top, the boss who took "tribute," a cut of the criminal proceeds, and passed along the rest to his mob bosses, Trucchio was legally accountable for the crimes of his underlings, according to the indictment.

The court papers offer a motive behind the long-standing triple-murder mystery. Federal prosecutors said that the two men were slain to silence them during a credit card fraud investigation. The woman was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Trucchio also is named with another of his crews in a second indictment unsealed in Tampa. There, his crew was accused of trying to gain control of the city's valet parking businesses.That is the case involving John Alite, who was in a Brazil prison when Ronnie One-Arm gave his opening statement.

"I'm in Brazil until 2007," John Alite said today in an interview. "In 2005, Corozzo and Ronnie One-Arm sent me paperwork," some of the details of which were written up in stories by The Daily News and New York Post, as well as Gang Land News.

"I don't testify until 2009," Alite added.

The Miami trial was positioned as the latest chapter in the decades-long history of the Mafia in South Florida. The region is considered open territory for mobsters, and over the years, such criminal icons as Al Capone, Johnny Roselli, Meyer Lansky and others have taken up residence here to capitalize on the beaches, the bars, the horse racing, the gambling and seemingly limitless ways to make an easy buck.

Prosecutors charged that some of the indicted mobsters made weapons behind bars and planned to attack prosecutors and witnesses at a court hearing. No attack took place.

At a court hearing, prosecutors introduced a jailhouse letter as proof of Ronnie One-Arm's state of mind. The two-page note -- written by co-defendant Edward "Crazy Eddie" Callegari and intended for Joseph "Baby Face" Kondrotos -- was turned over as part of a cooperation deal.

Referring to Trucchio, Callegari noted, "That [expletive] over there is always crying that he don't know why he's down here." Callegari further complained that it was easy enough for Trucchio and other Gambino family members to accept the cash, if not the risk.

"All they want is to get the money and keep it for themselves," he wrote.

John Alite, left, with Ronnie One-Arm.
John Alite, left, with Ronnie One-Arm.

Callegari vowed that if he were freed, "I'm stepping up to the four families and telling them I'm the new guy in charge and I'm even renaming the [Gambino] family."

Callegari pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge and was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Eight other crew members also pleaded guilty as the trial approached.

The U.S. attorney for South Florida, Marcos Daniel Jimenez, said the crew's home base was in Ozone Park but that they moved freely between Florida and New York.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the group turned Interstate 95, which connects New York and Florida, into a virtual crime highway. He said that they “(broke) the law with impunity, terrorized law abiding citizens and raked in millions of dollars of tax free criminal proceeds.”

State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer previously filed charges against Trucchio accusing him of insurance fraud. Spitzer said that Trucchio had claimed to have no income on his December 9, 1999, application for Social Security Insurance disability benefits that allowed him to receive more than $100,000 between 2000 and 2003 in disability benefits. The attorney general also noted that in Trucchio's application to buy a 2002 Cadillac DeVille, Trucchio had noted having an annual salary of $72,000 from Aldo’s Restaurant.

Ronnie One-Arm's opening statement:

THE BAILIFF: All rise.


This Honorable Court is again in session. Be seated, please.

THE COURT: Good morning.

ALL PARTIES: Good morning.

THE COURT: All right.

You will recall that yesterday the Government made an opening statement, and Mr. Ostrander made an opening statement on behalf of his client, Mr. Catalano, and this morning we are going to continue with the opening statements.

I will remind you, as I did, I think yesterday, an opening statement is an opportunity for the attorney, or in Mr. Trucchio's case, the defendant, to tell you what evidence he believes or they believe will be presented during the course of the trial.

Now, Mr. Trucchio, in just a minute is going to make an opening statement in his own behalf. And I think I told you -- and I think he mentioned it, as well -- that Mr. Trucchio will be acting as his own attorney until such time as one of his other attorneys, Mr. Corozzo, is able to be here.

Mr. Vila, who I've introduced you to, has been in the courtroom and -- and he's there in case Mr. Trucchio has any questions, but Mr. Trucchio has chosen to act as his own attorney until Mr. Corozzo arrives.

So, Mr. Trucchio will be making an opening statement in his own behalf. Mr. Trucchio.

MR. TRUCCHIO: Thank you, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Yes, sir. (9:42 a.m.)

MR. TRUCCHIO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

THE JURORS: Good morning.

MR. TRUCCHIO: You got to bear with me. I never did this before, so if I make any mistakes, I'm sure the Judge is going to correct me. But the only reason why I'm doing this is because of a calendar schedule difference. My attorney, who knows the facts of the case, couldn't be here. I know more of the facts of case than Mr. Vila, who is a -- he's a competent attorney, but he didn't have time to research all the documents, all the tapes and everything else.

So, it's not that I'm shunning him as a lawyer, he's a very good lawyer, but if you don't know the facts and the paperwork of the case, you know, I know more than him, I think.

Well, the Government yesterday wrote a good movie and a good script for a TV show, very impressive, but in the Sopranos. But this is real life, and things don't go just one, two, three.

The Government put on date-by-date, day-by-day how everything happened. And you're going to find that all this information is going to come from a cesspool, a cesspool of witnesses that are rapists, that are crackheads, that rob their mother and father's house, that kill people, that continue to do all these crimes. And then when they get caught, they find God again, and their God is to rat on somebody with the Government.

They get paid for it, they get everything they want from it, and this is what's going on right here.

And then besides, after they let these here rapists, murderers, crackheads and drug dealers on the street, they dump them in your back yard in the witness protection program. You don't even know they're there. Your neighbor could be one of their witnesses. This is what they do.

I don't know if that end justifies the means, but I'm sure, heck, they did it for Sammy the Bull. He came out, he's back in jail.

And Henry Hill, the guy that made the Goodfellows, he's back in jail. They put these people back in the street.

And I'm sure if I said do you want to get some information from me? They'll hug and embrace and kiss me.

But I wouldn't lie to put somebody else away for life.

One of the worst things is to bear false witness on your neighbor, and that's what's being done here. I don't deserve it. And I'm sorry you've got to be subjected to the slime they're going to bring in.

Also, they said in 1984, which I can't understand why I'm here, it was Johnny Alite and John Gotti, Jr. If that's where this Indictment started, why am I here?

Is there something wrong with that? I scratched my head, okay Johnny Alite and John Gotti, Jr., started a drug business. Okay, this is where we're building the foundation of the house from.

They started the drug business. They worked in the drug business. Now, all of a sudden I come in. I'm hands on.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I've been followed almost every day of my life by the FBI. I know them by first-name basis, almost. Petroski, uh, McCabe --who passed away -- Carillo, Organized Crime Task Force in New York. They came in my social club thousands of times playing cards -- they're going to show you a lot of pictures and stuff. Yes, I did know Johnny Alite. But in life you I know people, they go their way and I go mine. After -- after the mid-nineties if I seen him to say hello, it was a lot.

I -- I paid for my crimes, what happened. I don't know why they're throwing me in this. Maybe 'cause they couldn't get John Gotti, Jr. out of New York; New York wanted him too much.

Just give me a second, please.


And do you want to know something? The truth of the matter is, John Alite is a thug. Johnny Alite, there was a falling out with him and John Junior.

THE COURT: You need to use last names because they won't know who you're talking about.

MR. TRUCCHIO: John Gotti, Jr., Johnny Alite went to jail. In jail he met people from Philadelphia and Atlantic City. He winded up hanging out with the New Jersey mob, then came to Florida.

He stole all these businesses from every person. You think he would gave me a penny? He didn't give me a quarter; not a penny, not one red cent. Not one red cent did I get. And I swear that on my other arm that I should lose the use of it. Not one red cent.

I don't even know these gentleman. I came in court the other day, that man was -- I said hello to him, I
 thought he was a lawyer. When he came in, I said, who's this guy with this Hawaiian shirt on and a straw hat? Said, what, is he going to watch the trial? It was the defendant. I thought the defendant was a lawyer.  I don't even know these people. And if they say I'm insulated, I'm not insulated. And all of these crimes started in New York.

Do you think the FBI in New York is going to give me a free pass? Why, because I'm good looking, I'm pretty?

Why? They ain't going to give me a free pass, they're going to lock me up. This is from 1984. If this is the kind of criminal enterprise that I was running there, New York's FBI got to be the stupidest people in the world.

The Organized Crime Task Force of New York got to be the stupidest people in the world. The Queens District Attorney's detectives have to be the stupidest people in the world. The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office has to be the stupidest people in the world.

Because let me skate? No, they didn't let me skate. They've got thousands of hours of tapes; they're going to show you selective ones, ones that benefit them.

And the ones -- you see, the Government can get more than I can get. The tapes that I need to show and prove, can't get 'em. It's not pertinent to the case.

But it is. Because they're going to show people -- and there's other tapes that show me with other people after this. I moved on in life. My two sons got married. There was ten cop cars across the street taking everybody's picture, everybody's license plate.

I asked them, bring those here. Let me see them. Because none of these people are being in my son's wedding. But if they were so close to me, why wouldn't they be there? And they're saying, well, you know, you told them to stay away. No, there was other people of, you know, questionable character that weren't afraid to come there.

You know why these people weren't there? I didn't invite them. I have nothing to do them. They couldn't -- as far as I'm concerned, there was a friendship with Alite. That's gone. It's over with. And I paid my price for that. They -- when my father passed away, people come, paid their respects. There was a van, three cop cars.

There was a -- Kenny McCabe, he just passed away recently.

Every time a new group of FBI agents would come to surveil me, used to come by my house, tell my mother, say, tell Ronnie I want talk to him. Yeah, what's up, Kenny? I says, you didn't retire yet?

No. He says, this is the new two FBI agents that's going to be following you. Okay, thank you. They follow me around day and night. In my club they used to come in every day.

My other son got married, 400 people there. None of these people were here.

My daughter was born -- when -- in 2000? Her big christening party, none of these people were here. When my grandchildren had christenings, none of these people were here.

They couldn't stay with me. It's a cesspool. And one thing I can tell you, hopefully, they don't put them near your house when they relocate them.

But getting back to why am I here. If the foundation was built with John Gotti and Johnny Alite, I didn't start it. They said that I didn't start it. Why am I here? I don't know.

I'm here because if you walk down the street and there's two movie theaters, and one says The Redbook, and the other one says the Redbook is playing here, in this one you got Robert DeNiro, uh, uh, Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruz. And in this Redbook you got Mary Quinn, Tom Adams and Larry Smith. What movie are you going to? You're going to that one.

I'm the headliner for them. I'm the newspaper maker. I'm going to be their promotion on the way up. Sin, isn't it?

And trust me, don't think -- it happens to everybody. It could happen to your son or daughter, your granddaughter or your grandson.

I seen it. There's nothing this Government will stop at if they want somebody.


Excuse me for a minute.


Oh, like I said, all these here crimes, most of them started in New York. Just think, you know, my six-year-old daughter will probably say, well, if all those crimes are committed in New York, and those are 20 years ago, why is it here now in Florida they're prosecuting him?

I keep on scratching my head every day. I'm losing my hair more.

THE COURT: Mr. Trucchio, don't argue.

MR. TRUCCHIO: Oh. Oh, okay, sorry.

THE COURT: Just --

MR. TRUCCHIO: Well, the foundation was John Gotti, Jr. and Johnny Alite. All the crimes were committed in New York. Now we're here. And you mean New York never solved any of the crimes? It took Florida to find out about crimes that happened in New York?

No, ladies and gentlemen. People were tried and convicted or pleaded out to those crimes. But I wasn't involved in New York. So, New York once again liked my pretty little face: You go home, you good boy. You don't have to be charged.

Why didn't they charge me? Miraculously they found witnesses from that cesspool to come in and trade their freedom for my life.

And, you know, when we talking about being judged, whatever religion we have and we believe in, we're going to be judged by the true guy. And, you know, the people that think they're doing good, they going to be surprised when they say, no, not you, you go down. You did a bad thing.

They think they're doing good things.

Lying and deceit is not good. How come I wasn't locked up on any of them cases in New York and people went to jail on them? Other alleged capos from different crime families. Not me. Not me. I'm here in Florida. It took Florida to crack the crime cases in New York. That FBI must be sleeping on the job. The Organized Crime Task Force must be sleeping on the job. The Queens District Attorney must be sleeping on the job. The Brooklyn District Attorney must be sleeping on the job.

I was -- all my phones were bugged. My club was  bugged, the outside of the club was bugged. There was a video camera in -- on the outside of the club from 2000, I believe -- or 2001 to 2003.

I would love to have those papers because if I did, there's no me talking to anybody about committing no crimes or anything else. But, you know, they say like I escaped. What did I escape? I paid my time for my crimes in New York.

But none of what these people are saying. My crimes are for gambling. Gambling. Yeah, I'd fight once in a while too, but that was when I was younger. But, you know, that's growing up in Brooklyn and Queens.

You know, you either got it or you don't got it. And I had to fight twice as hard because when I was 11 years old I was hit and run by an automobile, and I lost the use of my arm.

But you know, I ain't looking for sympathy from nobody, I'm just looking for yous to please, please look through -- look through all their spectacular -- they're going to put on the fanfare, they're going to put signs and displays here that you're going to think you're in the -- a big production company.

We can't afford it. Our lawyers are lucky they're gettin' paid. As a matter of fact, he ain't getting paid.

But they'll come in, and they got assistants, they got thousands of people working for them. See, I have one private eye. But how I had to talk to my private eye was through the phone. He couldn't come down here because he was busy up there. Another spot on my record.

But they got hundreds of secretaries. And if they need a police, they got the whole FBI, whole Florida State police, Hillsborough County police. I'm stuck with one.

But that's -- you know, that's life.

But getting back to it, I paid for my crimes in New York. If they -- they followed me and watched me from 2001 to 2003. They have me on tapes. They have me on tapes. How come these people don't have me on tapes about any crimes? I can't understand it.

But getting back to it, if the foundation of the house was Johnny Alite and John Gotti, Jr., what am I doing here? That's a question to ask. Why? Am I bigger than John Gotti, Jr.? No, John Gotti, Jr. was the boss of the family. His father was the boss before him.

So, you think John Gotti, Jr. is going to give everything to me? Nobody gives anybody nothing.

Johnny Alite is a rogue. He was a loose cannon. And when I seen that, I broke away from him. I didn't become an enemy, but I wasn't still his friend. There's a careful line you got to walk when you're in the street, because there's enough enemies out there.

So, you say hello, yeah, nice to see you. Good. How's everything? How's, you know, the family? Chit-chat, small talk. Because you don't want him one day doing what he does to everybody else. You got to watch your back. So, even though you don't like the guy, he's your enemy, you still say, hi, how you doing?

You keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. But don't do anything with them. Just make like you're a friend.

Just give me a second, please.

Thank you.

Oh, about some of these witnesses, how they work the system, how they work the system. They go out, they rob, they steal, they rape, they do drugs, sell drugs. And then when they get caught, they give somebody up. But not only do they give somebody up, they find religion. They find God. They find God. And the attorney, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the DA's Office goes along.

Oh, he found God. No, he didn't find God. He just feels now he got a free pass to do whatever he wants. There's witnesses here that keep on continually, uh, drug paraphernalia, driving without a license. And that's after they testified and came back and testified again.

They tell stories. They -- they -- how they manufacture these stories, I don't know. I think they're delusional from the drugs. But they just come in, and the

Government pays them and then sends them out in the world into your back yard.

So, if you smell a cesspool, check your -- make sure you check your neighbors.

(Pause) (10:00 a.m.)

And there's a few witnesses that are going to come here that's still with Johnny Alite, they were young kids, I'm going to tell you my relationship with Johnny Alite, how it started.

I was dating his cousin, this girl Jerita. Patty Boy Andriano was her son. I knew him when he was five, six years old. John Gotti, Jr. used to go out with Jerita before I did.

So, when I was dating her, John Gotti, Jr. sent Johnny Alite to come and see what's he doing; I used to date the girl; don't bother with her.

I said, listen, there's no problem dating with her; if I would have known, I wouldn't bother.

He says, no, no, all right. And that's how we became a little friendly.

Every time I see Patty Boy and Mike Malone, I used to tell them, did you get a job yet? Why don't you get a job. The street life is over. What are yous doing? Go get a job.

Oh, yeah, yeah, we will.

They may come and say differently, but my hand to

God, that's what I used to tell them.

And just getting back to the foundation.

Johnny Alite and John Gotti, Jr. started it. Why am I here?

All those people committed all those crimes in New York.

People were arrested, went to jail, did seven, eight, ten, 15 years for it. Why wasn't I?

And if they say they have no surveillance on me, Kenneth McCabe took more picture of me than they took of, uh, that there baby that was just born, uh, Joley. Everyday, every day, every day.

I told them I wanted to buy the film to give them, this way I'll make a few dollars. It's ridiculous. They're saying there's no -- nothing to prove that. But they'll show you some pictures, selective pictures.


And ladies and gentlemen, don't let them lead you to believe that I'm that smart. Trust me, I'm not. I got locked up plenty of times. I ain't that smart. They're just selectively wanting to say I'm that smart on their crimes. The other ones, hey, he's not too smart. But there's plenty of tapes of me talking on the phones, there's plenty of tapes of me talking in my club.

And once again, I'll go back. Queens D.A., Brooklyn D.A., Organized Crime Task Force, a major case squad in New York; and plus, the 103rd, 102nd, and the 106th precinct. They knew me by name. Hi, Ronnie. Hi, Ronnie.

 And believe it or not, sometimes when there was trouble with the young kids in the neighborhood, they used to come to me and ask me. And you know what I used to tell them? If you deputize me and promise you won't arrest me,

I'll do it. But I used to do it for nothing for the old women and the old men.

Why would New York let me go scot-free for 20 years? Why? I don't understand it.

But then again, now let's get this case from the foundation. The foundation: John Gotti, Jr., Johnny Alite.

Now, if somebody starts it, I'm sure he just didn't quit, because then they went to parking meters, the valet parking.

You're going to see the cesspool. And please, these guys are good. I don't know, I may be giving away my age, but I used to call them junkies, not crackheads. I'm 55 years old.

So, in our days they were junkies, and they were good, smooth talkers. They'd get money and anything else, they'll get out of a problem. That was their game, boy, they were better than a used car salesman.

So that's what you're going to get here. You're going to find people -- you're going to think a saint just walked in the room. He was just canonized.

 It's all a game that they use over and over, and the Government don't stop using them, and just puts them back in your back yard, the cesspool.

Excuse me. I need some water.

 Could I have some water?


I just want to go over it again, the foundation.

 John Gotti, Jr., Johnny Alite, why am I here? Most of the crimes happened in New York. Why am I here? Other people were tried and convicted for them crimes in New York, went to jail for them.

I was never either indicted or a co-conspirator or co-indicted. There's going to -- a guy -- oh, there's going -- a guy going to come in here, Guy Gratto, he's going to tell you that I was a big drug dealer and I was taking money off him. If I met him once, I met him a -- a -- that  was it.

His wife was having a problem with her son-in-law.

Had a vending machine in a cafe. She says, he took 40,000 off of me, you know, but he says he's with this guy from Brooklyn. I didn't even know her.

A friend of mine, Joey T, she lived in his basement apartment. So Joey T says, I'll ask Ronnie, maybe he could help you.

So, I meet the woman, Vera.

She says, my son-in-law took 40,000 off of me, he's supposed to have a business, and now I ain't got nothing.

I says, all right, just give me his name and, I says, I'll go ask, you know, where he stays in Brooklyn.

In the interim of that, in that little three-day period, her husband gets shot and robbed, and she gets shot and robbed in that week that I know them. I don't know them prior to that. If you gave me a million dollars I couldn't pick them out.

With this, she comes and tells me, she tells me --

I says, yeah, who did it? She tells me the two names of the kids -- three kids. I grab them. I said, bring the money and the jewelry back. I says, and you're crazy. What are you doing? They brought the money and the jewelry back, and they got every penny and all their jewelry back.

Now, somebody was -- they're trying to say I sent them there to rob it. Well, if I sent them there to rob it, why am I taking it back and giving it back to them?

Where were they going, for practice? Then after this, they contrived -- they -- they're going to say that these three kids, who one of them lived in her house, these three kids, I told him to give them a job.

I didn't know this man for two weeks when this happened.

How could I -- then we'll go one better. After I get the jewelry and the money back, Vera and Guy rat on the three kids. They go to jail. I see Guy after that. Now, he's a rat. If it was -- they were saying it, they would say I would kill him. Ooh, he's a rat. He's been living in the neighborhood for seven years. Nothing ever happened to him. I don't care.

But, you know who went to jail with them? Vinnie Assara (Asaro), a captain in the Bonanno crime family -- alleged.

Not me. But he's turning it because either the Government intimidated him, or threatened him, or he got in trouble again and he went to his -- his godfather's. They're the real godfathers, because they let everything slide.

He went to their godfathers and said, listen, I'm in trouble again. And they say, well, yeah, okay, Ronnie, yeah, he's a drug dealer.

That's what Guy Gratto's going to say after I got his money and got his wife's jewelry. And I think I met him once. I used to speak to his wife.

And in the Indictment when they went to court, I was never arrested, Vinnie Assara comes to me and he says, Ronnie, you're in a lot of trouble.

Yeah, why?

He says your name is mentioned more in the Indictment than me.

I says, Vinnie, you know, I can't be in trouble.

You know why? Because I didn't want no money from these people -- you did. So, you're in trouble -- not me. I says, I didn't take a penny off of them. (10:10 a.m.)

He was the one in trouble because he was -- him and this other guy, Danny from Brooklyn, were trying to take $150 from them, and I was trying to stop that too.  But the Government will have you -- I'm the biggest bad guy that -- since I don't know who. Because sometimes, I -- you know, I just don't understand.

You know, you could get something wrong and then be man enough to say, you know, we're wrong, let's move on.

Why throw somebody in that doesn't deserve to be here?

Because, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my hand to God, I don't deserve to be here. That's my word to God.

This is a -- an abomination to sin what they're doing to me here. I got a six-year-old daughter waiting to
go home to, and five grandchildren, and 19-year-old-daughter in college, Saint Johns University, and two grown sons. I don't want to be here.

And I'm right when I told the kid the street life's over. But I was there. So now, essentially I got to get out of there. But I did not have anything to do with these crimes committed here or in New York because I would have been locked up then with whoever was locked up in New York.

I was just thrown in because they couldn't get John Junior Gotti, because New York probably didn't release him. You know, there's big bickerings. That's why they created Homeland Security, because the FBI don't talk to the DEA, the ATF don't talk to the, uh, INS, because they all want to be put on the pedestal. They all want to be front-page. Take my picture.

So, New York probably didn't want to release John Gotti, Jr. Probably got more in plan for him.

So he says, okay, we'll go for second best, let's put this guy in. Everybody knows him. Yeah, everybody knows me. I did nothing but good for people in that neighborhood.

19 THE COURT: Mr. Trucchio, you're going to need to conclude, if you would.

21 MR. TRUCCHIO: Okay.

Just remember one thing, please, ladies and gentlemen, the foundation: John Gotti, Jr., Johnny Alite.

 Why am I here? People were locked up, tried, convicted or copped out those crimes in New York. Why wasn't I? And don't forget, there's a cesspool of lies that are coming in here, and they will charm the pants off of you. But don't forget, they're coming in your backyard,  thanks to the United States Government of America.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

And one more thing: I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that if I should never see my six-year-old-daughter again, I am not guilty of any of these crimes here.

Thank you. (10:13 a.m.)