2008-11-27 / Local & State

Lawyer: Reputed Pa. Mobster Cooperates In Probe

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - The reputed boss of a northeastern Pennsylvania crime family has cooperated with authorities in their probe of a Poconos casino owner under indictment for perjury, the man's attorney said Friday.

William D'Elia, the alleged boss of the Bufalino crime family, is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday for witness tampering and conspiracy to launder money.

His attorney, James Swetz, filed a sentencing memorandum on Friday that said D'Elia has assisted Dauphin County authorities in their prosecution of Mount Airy Resort Casino owner Louis DeNaples and DeNaples' attorney, the Rev. Joseph Sica.

DeNaples, a Scranton-area businessman who owns the Mount Airy Resort Casino in northeastern Pennsylvania, was charged in January with perjury. A grand jury said De- Naples lied to investigators with the state Gaming Control Board about his relationships with D'Elia, another reputed mobster, and two men at the center of a political corruption scandal in Philadelphia in order to win a $50 million slot-machine license.

Sica faces a single perjury count for allegedly lying to the grand jury about his ties to the late Russell Bufalino, an organized crime boss who died in the 1990s.

Both men say they are innocent.

D'Elia was charged in 2006 with laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds and trying to have a co-defendant in the case killed. He had been facing 18 counts, including solicitation of murder, but he pleaded guilty last March to only two, witness tampering and conspiracy to launder money.

D'Elia's sentencing memorandum asks for a sentence of less than nine years. Sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of between nine years and slightly more than 11 years.

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