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Reputed Mobster Gets Probation

April 13, 1999

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Louis ``Baby Shacks″ Manocchio, the reputed boss of the New England mob, pleaded guilty Tuesday to receiving stolen property _ a dishwasher and refrigerator he gave to his elderly mother.

The 71-year-old dutiful son was placed on three years’ probation.

His lawyer, John Cicilline, said Manocchio agreed to the plea bargain for his mother’s sake.

``He has a 90-year-old mother who reads the newspapers and watches TV,″ Cicilline said. ``He agreed to the plea in order to avoid that.″

Manocchio could have gotten 10 years in prison if convicted of the original felony charges.

Prosecutor William Ferland said it was a big win because the reputed mob boss now must watch his behavior or risk violating probation.

The New England mob has been greatly reduced over the years, resorting now to small-time operations such as theft rings.

Manocchio was one of 44 suspects arrested in 1996 in what police said was a mob-sanctioned burglary ring that pulled off more than 900 heists in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut between 1989 and 1996. The appliances were among $10 million in goods stolen.

The case was the first time Manocchio faced charges since 1985, when he was convicted of a 1968 gangland murder. The conviction was later overturned, but he served two years in prison for conspiracy.

Authorities said Manocchio became mob leader by default when others followed the boss Raymond J. ``Junior″ Patriarca to prison.

He got his nickname because of a relative who was known as ``Shacks″ for ``shacking up″ with many women.

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