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CASES AND PRESS
Jailed mobsters want iPods to review evidence against them

By BRUCE GOLDING- March 16, 2011

Worst. Playlist. Ever.

A dozen reputed mobsters want prison officials to let them have iPods so they can listen to secret government recordings behind bars.

Defense lawyers complained today that their clients — busted in January’s massive Mafia round-up — can’t properly prepare for trial due to the sheer volume of evidence compiled by two snitches.

The wire-wearing rats furtively recorded about 1,000 of conversations, but the imprisoned defendants only get three hours a week to review them.
At that rate, it will take more than six years just to listen to each recording once, said lawyer Eric Franz, who represents reputed Gambino crime-family capo Louis Mastrangelo.

Franz said the federal Bureau of Prisons denied his request to bring his client a pre-loaded iPod because it "jeopardizes the safety of the institution."

Manhattan federal prosecutor John Zach said officials may be concerned "that some iPods have a recording feature," but defense lawyer Steven Frankel — who represents reputed Gambinio associate John "Johnny Bandana" Brancaccio — countered that older models without that feature were still available and "really inexpensive."

Lawyer Joel Winograd, who represents reputed Gambino soldier Michael "Roc" Roccaforte, also noted a recent case in Brooklyn federal court — reported exclusively by The Post — where prosecutors approved the use of specially prepared iPods by two jailed mob defendants.

Judge Richard Berman told both sides to confer with prison officials and report back to him.

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