PATRIARCA TOO ILL TO FACE RACKETEERING CHARGES IN MIAMI, MAGISTRATE RULES
A US magistrate ruled today that reputed New England crime boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca is still too ill to fly to Miami for arraignment on federal labor racketeering charges.
"For me to order it would be a callous disregard, a reckless disregard, for human life," said US Magistrate Jacob Hagopian. Patriarca was indicted in September 1981 by a grand jury in Miami on charges he conspired to skim $11 million from a Laborers' International Union pension fund.
Hagopian said he was convinced that the stress Patriarca would experience by being forced to fly to Florida would present a "clear and present danger" to the life of the 74 year-old Johnston resident suffering from heart disease and diabetes.
Hagopian said testimony by Dr. Albert Most, a Rhode Island Hospital cardiologist called by the government, did nothing to change his opinion on Patriarca's health.
"At best, Dr. Most could not quantify the element of stress. At best, he could tell us his condition has, quote, stabilized,' unquote," Hagopian said.
The charges against the others indicted in the case have been dismissed because the statute of limitations expired. The government is appealing that ruling.
Although Hagopian originally ordered Patriarca to face arraignment, he stayed the order last year because of testimony that the trip could kill him.
Prosecutor Edwin J. Gale refused to comment on the US Justice Deparment's next move.