A reputed mobster pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to whack a federal witness whose information helped authorities build a racketeering case against him and a fellow wiseguy.
Joseph Datello faces life in prison for his plea, including admissions that he was involved in narcotics trafficking and the collection of debts through the threat of violence.
According to prosecutors the witness helped them build a case against Datello and other members of the Luchese crime family, including Steven Crea, the organization’s alleged underboss.
Authorities said Datello learned information that he thought revealed where the witness could be found, and went there to wait with the intent — with Crea’s blessing — to kill the witness.
The witness was a former associate of the defendants, officials said.
“Witness safety is paramount to ensuring the prosecution of criminal organizations,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.