Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni — the “Quarter-Ton Sex-Offender” who was elected three times as Republican Committeeman for New Jersey’s North Ward after being convicted of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl he got liquored up in the back room of his Trenton restaurant — is one of those Conservative Babylonians whose story just plain sticks in our collective craw: He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but served only a measly three.
Thus, certainly unfairly but most unashamedly, we’re happy to see him up on charges of anything else — that’s how bugged we are that he’s been allowed to walk around free all these years (since 1985, when he was paroled, having nearly avoided prison altogether; his lawyer argued that his massive, and asthmatic, 565-pound bulk should amount to a get-out-of-jail-free card).
All this makes us very happy to report that Jojo was indicted today — on charges that have nothing to do with molesting little girls, thank goodness. Of course, everybody is innocent until proven guilty — but if Jojo is convicted, we’re guessing he might not only lose his freedom again, but his restaurant, too.
Is this the right attitude to have? Of course not. But if a bad man doesn’t get what he deserves for one thing, maybe they can get him on something else. Think Al Capone (although Jojo is no Al Capone) — they couldn’t nail him on murder, so they got him for tax evasion — or Frank’s (John Garfield) words at the very end of The Postman Always Rings Twice. (If you haven’t seen it, we won’t ruin it for you; we’ll only tell you it’s a must-see.)
Read the backstory on Jojo, and then get the latest facts straight from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, below — and then see if you don’t feel the same way we do:
• “Joseph ‘JoJo’ Giorgianni,” January 24, 2008
TRENTON, NJ, March 14, 2013 — A federal grand jury in Trenton today returned a six-count indictment charging Joseph A. “Jojo” Giorgianni, Mary Manfredo, and Anthony Dimatteo with distribution of oxycodone, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Giorgianni, 63, of Ewing, New Jersey; Manfredo, 65, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey; and Dimatteo, 31, of Trenton, originally were charged by complaint, filed September 10, 2012, with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. The indictment returned today adds four additional counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone against Giorgianni, three additional oxycodone distribution counts against Manfredo, and two additional oxycodone distribution counts against Dimatteo. Giorgianni, a convicted felon, is also charged in the indictment with possessing four firearms.
According to the indictment and other documents filed in this case:
Giorgianni, Manfredo, and Dimatteo conspired and agreed with each other and Giuseppe Scordato, 47, of Hamilton, New Jersey; Ralph Dimatteo Sr., 62, also of Hamilton; and Charles Hall, III, 49, of Trenton, to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. Jojo’s Steakhouse, a restaurant that Giorgianni owned and that Mary Manfredo operated, served as a front for this drug distribution organization and a clearing house, where prescription pain pills were stored, provided to individuals such as Anthony Dimatteo and Giuseppe Scordato, and where narcotics proceeds were returned.
Hall previously pleaded guilty to an information in which he admitted his involvement in the distribution of oxycodone with Giorgianni, Manfredo, and Anthony Dimatteo. Scordato and Ralph Dimatteo are released on bail pending the charges contained in the criminal complaint.
The narcotics conspiracy count contained in count one of the indictment and the four distribution counts contained in counts two through five each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and $1 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Trenton Resident Agency, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, with the investigation leading to today’s Indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric W. Moran and Matthew J. Skahill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Trenton and Camden, respectively.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, March 14, 2013
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