Boston Globe

 

PATRIARCA RULED TOO ILL TO STAND TRIAL IN FLORIDA

 

 

By Richard J. Connolly Globe Staff

05/23/1984

A federal magistrate in Providence has refused to order alleged New England organized crime chieftain Raymond L.S. Patriarca removed to stand racketeering charges in Florida, after the magistrate found Patriarca's health had not improved.

US Magistrate Jacob Hagopian, after considering a five-page report on an examination of the 76-year-old Patriarca by Dr. Albert Most, chief of cardiology at Rhode Island Hospital, determined yesterday there has been no change in Patriarca's condition. Dr. Most conducted the examination at the request of the Justice Department, whose lawyers have been attempting to obtain a court order forcing Patriarca to go on trial in Miami.

Patriarca suffers from severe vascular disease, congestive heart failure and diabetes, according to court records in Providence. Magistrate Hagopian has delayed Patriarca's arraignment in Miami since 1981 because he said medical testimony showed a trip to Florida could cause his death.

The reputed mob leader was indicted Sept. 24, 1981, with four other men on charges of conspiring to seize control of the insurance business of the Laborers International Union in the northeast.

He and the others are accused of conspiring to funnel business from insurance funds, to charge union members the most expensive form of insurance and to loot insurance payments between 1973 and 1977.

Under indictment with Patriarca are Arthur E. Coia, 70, of North Providence, general secretary-treasurer of the Laborers International Union; his son, Arthur A. Coia, 40, of Barrington, R.I., a Providence lawyer and business agent for the Laborers' Rhode Island District Council; former Rhode Island State representative Albert Lepore, 42, of Tiverton, R.I.; and Joseph J. Vaccaro Jr., 54, of Rangeley Ridge, Winchester, who is associated with the J.J. Vaccaro Inc., construction firm.

The US Supreme Court refused last week to drop the indictment against the Coias, Lepore and Vaccaro, thus leaving in effect a US Court of Appeals ruling that they should stand trial in Miami where a District Court judge had ruled that the indictments were returned after the statutes of limitations expired.

Patriarca underwent a physical examination by Dr. Most on April 30 at the request of the government, which must decide whether to drop the charges against Patriarca or continue efforts to have him appear in Florida for arraignment and trial. The Justice Department has been represented by Edwin J. Gale, an attorney for the Organized Crime Strike Force in Providence.

Attorney James Jay Hogan, the elder Coia's lawyer, has been seeking a court ruling in Miami on whether Patriarca must stand trial. Hogan told a federal judge recently that his client has a right to know, in preparation of his case, if Patriarca is going to be a codefendant in view of Patriarca's reputation as a mobster.

Patriarca's health has also prevented him from going to trial in two murder cases. He is accused in Bristol Superior Court in New Bedford of ordering the 1968 murder of Robert (Bobby) Candos, an accused bank robber, whose skeleton was discovered in a wooded area of North Attleborough in 1970.

Patriarca also is under indictment on a charge of ordering the 1965 murder of Raymond (Baby) Curcio whose body with three bullet wounds was found in an automobile in North Providence Feb. 19, 1965. Investigators alleged that Curcio was killed because he broke into the home of Patriarca's brother, the late Joseph Patriarca, 10 years earlier.

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