Judge reduces sentence of mobster who helped FBI probe of Oklahoma City bomb plot

NEW YORK - A convicted mobster credited with providing the FBI with information about hidden explosives in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing plot had his sentence reduced by a decade on Tuesday.

See Full Article

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn reduced the 40-year racketeering sentence being served by Gregory Scarpa Jr. as he blasted prosecutors and the FBI for their handling of the reduction request. The 10-year reduction means Scarpa could be eligible for release in 2025, though the judge said he could die before that because of cancer and generally poor health.

In a written ruling, the judge said that the son of an infamous Colombo crime family enforcer reached out to the government in 2005 while Scarpa and Terry Nichols were serving time together. The judge noted that Scarpa told the FBI that Nichols had told him there was a secret cache of explosives in the house where he lived at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing.

An FBI agent interviewed Scarpa, and a polygraph examination was conducted, but the FBI did not conduct the search until it was prodded to do so by a congressman who was contacted by a private forensic investigator Scarpa had contacted, the judge said.

Nichols is serving a life sentence for planning the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building with Timothy McVeigh. The bombing killed 168 people. McVeigh was executed.

Prosecutors declined to comment on Tuesday. A lawyer for Scarpa, 64, did not immediately comment.

The judge said prosecutors relied on an FBI affidavit that was "sloppy, vague and inaccurate in material respects" to insist Scarpa's sentence should not be reduced.

Prosecutors claimed that Scarpa was not the source of information leading to the explosives, that he took false credit and that he embellished it, significantly wasting the government's time, the judge said.

The judge said the government supported its arguments with a "series of largely implausible, contradictory and factually unsupported reasons" offered by a prosecutor and an FBI agent, including an agent's affidavit that made "flatly incorrect" assertions such as that the FBI had obtained a search warrant for Nichols' home and that Scarpa was not the source of evidence leading to the search.

"Particularly, at a time when we live under the threat of domestic terrorism, providing information that leads to the discovery of explosives planted by one who had engaged in such terrorism should clearly come within the definition of substantial assistance," the judge said. "Quite significantly, the U.S. attorney has been willing in the past to grant co-operation credit even to defendants who have committed serious crimes and have lied repeatedly during the course of their co-operation."

The judge said evidence showed Scarpa acted "in a manner that was both truthful and forthright and that he did not engage in exaggeration or deliberate obfuscation."

He added: "A modest sentencing reduction to an incarcerated defendant who has provided evidence that explosives were left by a domestic terrorist in a residential area is necessary to encourage others to come forward."

-----

Associated Press writer Larry Neumeister contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Memorial site: Alberta apologizes to families for cleaning up plane wreckage

    Canada News CTV News
    WHITECOURT, Alta. -- The province of Alberta is apologizing to the families of three people killed in a plane crash almost 65 years ago after cleaning up the wreckage without warning. A memorial site near Whitecourt, Alta. Source
  • Ontario PCs' Urgent Priorities Act to address hydro salaries, York University strike

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's new Progressive Conservative government has introduced legislation that, if passed, would give it sweeping new powers over executive compensation at Hydro One. The bill, dubbed the Urgent Priorities Act, was introduced today by Energy Minister Greg Rickford and would give the government authority to approve executive compensation at the utility. Source
  • 'This is shameful': Trump's news conference with Putin stuns fellow Republicans

    World News CBC News
    On a trip in which Donald Trump dumbfounded allies and his usual critics in the Democrat Party with comments concerning the European Union and British leaders, the U.S. president ended with a news conference performance at his first head-to-head summit with Russia President Vladimir Putin that had even some Republicans shaking their heads. Source
  • Lawmakers call Trump's performance 'bizarre,' 'shameful'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Key members of Congress, including some Republicans, are criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump's performance at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as "bizarre," "shameful" and a "missed opportunity" to stand up to Russia. Source
  • Members of Trudeau's youth council urge cancellation of Kinder Morgan buyout

    Canada News CBC News
    Members of Justin Trudeau's youth council are urging the prime minister to withdraw his decision to buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline. Sixteen past and present members of the youth council are releasing a letter to Trudeau expressing their "disappointment" in the Liberal government's move to buy the pipeline project for $4.5 billion. Source
  • Judge temporarily halts deportation of reunified families

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- A federal judge on Monday ordered a temporary halt to any deportations of reunited families who were separated by the Trump administration after crossing the southwest border. The American Civil Liberties Union had asked Judge Dana Sabraw to delay deportations a week after reunification. Source
  • 'A class act': Ray Emery played in a Hamilton charity hockey game the night before he died

    Canada News CBC News
    Ray Emery was giving back to Hamilton and playing the game he loved the night before he died. The ex-NHL goalie was one of several current and former professional players who hit the ice as part of Hockey Night in Hamilton, a charity game that raised funds for Food4Kids. Source
  • Workers at Goderich salt mine accept deal to end 12-week strike

    Canada News CBC News
    The 12-week strike at the salt mine in Goderich, Ontario is over. Workers voted Monday to accept a three-year deal reached between Unifor Local 16-0 and the mine owner, Compass Minerals. The salt mine, the world's largest, employs more than 350 unionized workers. Source
  • Iran arrests 46 in fresh crackdowns on Instagram models

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian authorities have arrested dozens of people in fresh crackdowns on models and associated colleagues posting "immoral images" online. The official IRNA news agency reported Monday that officials in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, some 1250 kilometres, or 630 miles, south of the capital Tehran, arrested eight women and 36 other people in the photography, beauty salons and wedding businesses who used Instagram to share what they considered indecent images and…
  • 'Kloe inside washer': Mom's post about girl trapped in front-loading machine goes viral

    World News CTV News
    A mother is warning other parents about the dangers of front-loaded laundry equipment after her three-year-old daughter became trapped in a new washing machine. Lindsey McIver’s story has garnered more than 250,000 shares on Facebook since July 11. Source