Mob boss’s son allowed to remain free
ANGELO MUSITANO Release violations not proven, board concludes
The son of a notorious Mafia boss, who followed into the family business, has been released from prison despite police concern he unleashed a fresh round of extortion and violence shortly after release less than a year ago.
When Angelo Musitano, 30, of Hamilton, was released in October after serving six years of a 10-year sentence for ordering the death of a rival mob boss, Hamilton’s chief of police promised he would be closely monitored.
Musitano’s statutory release came with special conditions on where he could not go, what he could not do and whom he could not speak with. In fact, when he first met with his parole supervisor in Hamilton, he was handed a list of people to avoid.
Five months later, Hamilton police accused him of violating each of those conditions.
The alleged breaches were the focus of the National Parole Board last week when deciding what to do with Musitano: send him back to prison to finish serving his sentence or allow him to return to his mother’s home.
Hearing a litany of police complaints — from the phone numbers on Musitano’s cellphone calls to the amount of high-denomination cash he was carrying when re-arrested, from suspicions he violated his travel perimeter to reports of him reactivating a life in crime — Musitano offered innocent explanations for it all.
The board was told of a large number of calls made from Musitano’s cellphone to a phone registered to his sister-in-law, leading police to suspect he was using the calls to secretly communicate with his brother. (His older brother, Pasquale Musitano, known as Pat, also served a sentence for ordering the 1997 slaying of a Niagara Falls crime lord and the two are not allowed to communicate.)
“This justifiable suspicion was not, however, accompanied by other information to confirm contact with your brother or to disprove your claim that telephone contact in all cases was with the other relatives,” the board told Musitano.
Police also presented records for his cellphone showing numerous calls were made from outside his imposed travel perimeter, suggesting he was straying further than he was allowed.
Musitano countered with a declaration from his girlfriend that she often used his phone, including at the times and places noted by police.
“The board found this claim plausible and notes the absence of any direct observation or other information indicating that you had been the person using the telephone on these occasions,” the board said in its decision record, released yesterday.
Musitano also had a number of calls on his cellphone with people “well known by police to be involved in criminal activity,” the board heard.
Musitano said he kept getting calls from people he was trying to avoid. Since police offered no evidence to the contrary — such as wiretaps — the board accepted the explanation.
The board then turned to the issue of renewed crime. “The most serious allegations against you were in the form of a memorandum from the police containing allegations of extortion and violence,” the board said.
“These allegations were evidently based on information from unnamed police informants. No information was provided as to the identities of these informants,” the board said adding that no criminal charges resulted.
“You deny any criminal activity while on release and no persuasive information has been provided to corroborate the informants’ claims in this regard.”
Even Musitano’s arrest in March for the alleged violations caused police concern; he was carrying $850 in large denomination bills.
“You claimed to have received this money from your mother to buy some clothing. An affidavit from your mother supports your version of this set of facts and the board finds this version to be plausible, particularly as it is not contradicted by any other wellarticulated theory.”
The board then granted Musitano another chance.
Despite the suspicions of Musitano’s parole officer and “the extensive and highly criminalized population with whom you tend to be linked,” the evidence was not conclusive enough to justify sending him back to prison, the board concluded.
He was allowed out of Frontenac Instituion, a minimum-security prison, to return to Hamilton, where he holds a part-time job.
Angelo Musitano served six years of a ten-year-sentence for ordering a murder.