Prosecutors have tossed their case against reputed Gambino crime-family associate Daniel Fama, who they believe served as the getaway man for two wiseguys who shot a man to death in front on his Bensonhurst home in 1990.
The New York Post reports:
The feds dropped their witness-tampering case against ex-con Daniel Fama, 49, telling a Manhattan federal judge they didn’t have enough evidence that Fama was part of the plot to silence demolition contractor Edward Garofalo in August 1990 by gunning him down outside his home in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.
Garofalo, known as “Eddie the Chink,” was killed to keep him from cooperating with authorities and Fama drove hit men Frank “Frankie Fapp” Fappiano and Joseph “Little Joey” D’Angelo to and from the crime scene, the feds had claimed.
“There was not enough to show that Mr. Fama” tried to “obstruct a grand jury investigation,” federal prosecutor Jason Masimore told Judge John Keenan.
Authorities charged Fama with witness-tampering in order to get around federal statute of limitations restrictions, which prevented them from hitting him with a conventional murder charge.
But the more specific charge of killing an informant to obstruct justice required evidence that Fama knew the purpose of the hit job.
The case was ultimately undone by the government’s own witness. Gambino family associate, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, who became a government witness and fingered the three men in the car who had a role in the murder, provided testimony that said none of the men knew why they were ordered to kill Garofalo. Gravano’s testimony indicates he assembled the team and gave the instructions himself, on John Gotti’s orders.
Fama was arrested and charged in April 2013, 23 years after the murder. He had been released from prison in 2009, after serving 17 years for racketeering charges.