Parcel pinchers! Mail sorters indicted for allegedly lightening their loads

Two private contractors who provide mail-handling services for the U.S. Postal Service were dragged into Brooklyn Federal Court last Thursday for allegedly swiping express mail packages.

Federal authorities claim that Clive Bennett, 50, and Brian Wilson, 20, removed at least a dozen packages from a U.S. Postal facility at John F. Kennedy Airport between Jan. 12 and March 16. The items they allegedly took included diamonds, jewelry, and electronics, said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Lorretta Lynch.

“The defendants allegedly stole valuable personal and commercial items from the U.S. mail,” Lynch said in a statement. “Such actions serve not only to stifle personal communication, but to choke the flow of commerce — the lifeblood of our economy.”

“Individuals and businesses alike must be able to trust that their communications and packages will be safely and securely transported,” she added.

According to the federal complaint filed against them, Bennett and Wilson work for a private company that provides mail-handling services in connection with the delivery of air mail to the post office.

Investigators claim that after reviewing hours of surveillance footage from the JFK postal facility, they observed the two men move express mail bags to isolated areas of their work space, where they rifled through parcels and removed items.

Both men pled guilty during their courtroom appearance and were both released on $100,000 bond, a U.S. Attorney spokesman said.

Bloody testimony

An informant outlined a list of grisly, brutal, and bloody slayings as he dropped a bag of dime on Tommy “Tommy Shots” Gioeli in federal court on Monday, recounting several of the many murders that the alleged mob enforcer is accused of doing.

Dino “Big Dino” Calabro said that he witnessed the murder of Carmine “the Gorilla” Gargano Jr. in 1994 — a man who refused to stay down even after Gioeli shot him in the eye, he claimed — but never questioned why the young man had to die.

Nor did he question burying Gargano’s corpse, which has never been found, outside the McDonald Avenue auto body shop where he was killed in a lot used to park ice cream trucks — although someone had the body removed sometime later.

Calabro said he and his crew covered the remains with a bag of lime to “deter the smell.”

Calabro, a former Columbo captain, claimed that Gioeli taught him how to kill and brought him on several assassinations.

“I wanted what (Gioeli) had,” Calabro told Assistant U.S. Attorney James Gatta. “He had the power to get me in the family.”

He was the U.S. Attorney’s key witness against Gioeli, who is on trial for committing six murders, including the killing of Sheepshead Bay police officer Ralph Dols, who was gunned down in 1997 after he married a mobster’s ex-wife.

Prosecutors claim that Gioeli and associate Dino “Little Dino” Saracino, who is being tried alongside the 59-year-old suspect, killed Dols after opening fire on the off-duty cop as he left the apartment he shared with Kimberly Kennaugh, the ex-wife of then-Colombo acting boss Joel Cacace.

Cacace ordered the hit against Dols — even though he was an NYPD housing cop — because he felt disrespected that his ex-wife was sleeping with a police officer, Posa told the jury.

But Gioeli’s attorneys swatted away the horrid testimony — claiming that Calabro was trying to save his own skin. The capo had agreed to testify against Gioeli after hammering out a deal with federal prosecutors to get a light sentence on the eight murders he’s accused of committing, the defense claimed.

Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at ttracy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2525.

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