Crotone, drug dealing in the Fondo Gesù district. One acquittal and ten convictions

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By John

Ten convictions and one acquittal. This is what the Court of Appeal of Catanzaro decided today regarding the 11 people involved in the second degree trial arising from the “Bear” investigation of the District Anti-Mafia Directorate. The panel chaired by Alessandro Bravin confirmed for seven defendants the abbreviated sentences inflicted by the Catanzaro preliminary hearing judge on 17 February 2022, while for another defendant the reduction of the prison years was triggered and for two others the agreed sentence was applied. The blitz, started on February 23, 2021 with 12 precautionary measures carried out by the Crotone carabinieri, dismantled a palleged organization of pushers and drug traffickers headed by the La Forgia family who allegedly dealt with the sale of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the Fondo Gesù district, with an “active base” between via Achille Grandi and the sixth street of via Bruno Buozzi.
«The group», as reconstructed in the reasons for the first instance sentence, was «made up of numerous members» who became «the point of reference» for various drug buyers. In fact, the hypothesized association would have been capable “of habitually stocking up on narcotic substances and spreading them on the market”, so as to be able to accumulate “considerable profits”. These are the characteristics of the hypothetical network of couriers and drug dealers who would have made use of “functional structures and means” for drug dealing: a warehouse for the storage of drugs; places to hide drugs and grow cannabis; radio transmitting equipment to allow pushers to communicate with each other; scooters and bicycles used by the “lookouts” to move more quickly; and finally, tables and umbrellas to lurk for entire days in the commissary square waiting for buyers.

The sentence. Gianluca La Forgia was sentenced to 11 years, 3 months and 10 days in prison (20 years in the first instance) as the charge against him was reclassified from promoter to participant in the drug trafficking association.

The names and sentences confirmed

Andrea La Forgia 17 years, 9 months and 10 days; Ferdinando La Forgia, 11 years, 5 months and 10 days; Antonio Crugliano, 11 years, 7 months and 10 days; Luciano Vaccaro, 11 years, 2 months and 20 days; Maurizio Valente, 9 years, 10 months and 20 days; Massimiliano La Forgia, 7 years old; and Felice Perna, 3 years old. The plea agreements: 8 years, 5 months and 10 days were applied to Umberto Vona and 8 years to Francesco Taverna. Palmira Laudari, defended by lawyers Roberto Coscia and Aldo Truncè, was acquitted “because the fact does not exist” (4 years, 5 months and 10 days in first instance). They were also defended by lawyers Mario Nigro, Luigi Villirilli, Fabrizio Salviati and Antonio Lomonaco.