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Calling For A Plea In Court. 2005-08-25
In Middletown, a man reached a plea deal after being accused of being part of a New York City-based gambling ring. His plea was just recently reached with federal prosecutors, court records show. The man at his center of this attention is none other than Louis "Chi Chi" DeStefano.
The 76 year old man of Middletown made the deal in hope it will keep him out of prison, according to his lawyer, Alex Smith. DeStefano, along with John "Lollipop" Dillenbeck of Goshen, and 10 other men were arrested in March 2004. State police along with the FBI were in charge of the operation to catch them men and bring them to justice.
The crime, prosecutors claim is that of heading gambling operations, which brought in tens of thousands of dollars weekly between 2000 and 2002. Last month, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, at Smith's request cancelled the appearance in a federal case.
In the letter to the judge, Smith said he and a prosecutor agreed on a plea. Smith was still waiting for the deal to be signed. Details of the agreement have not been made public.
Two of DeStefano's New York City co-defendants have also made their pleas. Francis Alessio was sentenced in October to three years' probation plus a $20,000 fine. Henry "Harlem" Burroughs got a nine month prison term, plus three years' probation.
Louis DeStefano once owner of a popular restaurant in Middletown, is now in major troubles. His son, Joe, was mayor from 1994 until this year, when he resigned after being sentenced on misdemeanors for submitting false information on disclosure forms.
(By Andrea)