Giacomo "Jackie" DiNorscio (July 20, 1940 – November 14, 2004) was a member of the Philadelphia and later the Lucchese crime families. DiNorscio died near the end of the shooting of the film Find Me Guilty, which portrayed his participation as his own lawyer (pro se) in United States v. Anthony Accetturo et al. RICO trial, famous for being the longest federal trial in history (at 21 months). This trial was conducted while DiNorscio was already incarcerated on separate drug charges. He was ultimately found not guilty (as well as his fellow co-defendants) after an amazingly short deliberation of the jury. After the trial, DiNorscio went back to prison; he was released on November 23, 2002, after serving 17.5 years of a 30-year sentence.
The longtime Don of the Philadelphia crime family, Angelo "Gentle Don" Bruno, was killed on March 21, 1980, resulting in a huge power vacuum. Anthony Accetturo and Michael Taccetta, on the other hand, used their situation to establish a new foothold in Philadelphia as a part of the Jersey Crew, with illegal gambling and loansharking operations. Because of the bad relations between the two factions in Philadelphia's crime family, as well as both Taccetta and Accetturo taking advantage of the situation, the relationship between Philadelphia and the New York Families, especially the Luccheses, eventually turned worse than ever and cooperation between the families eventually ended. It was around this time that prominent Bruno member, DiNorscio, along with many others, defected to the New Jersey faction of the Lucchese crime family to earn greater profits and to avoid being killed.
Federal RICO (and other charges) Trial
During the early 1980s, U.S. law enforcement started an operation to discover and prosecute all organized crime activities in the North Jersey area. After a four-year-long investigation was finally announced and indictments were brought up toward 20 members of Jersey Crew. Accetturo was brought from Florida, the Taccetta brothers were arrested in Newark, and 17 other known members were put on trial for 76 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) predicates. These charges of criminal activity claimed that the Lucchese Family participated in loansharking, extortion, racketeering, illegal gambling, money laundering, drug trafficking, arson, thefts, as well as murder and conspiracy to commit murder. In late 1986 and early 1987, the trial first began. During the trial, DiNorscio went on to fire his lawyer and represent himself during the entire trial. Although not popular with Accetturo and Taccetta, DiNorscio is reported to have charmed the jury; as the trial ended in 1988, all twenty defendants were acquitted, with a great deal of "pull" attributed to the congenial personality demonstrated by DiNorscio while he represented himself against the charges. The prosecutors were stunned and it is claimed that the Jersey Crew went right back where they left off in their criminal enterprises before the RICO trial.
- Rudolph, Robert. The Boys from New Jersey: How the Mob Beat the Feds. 1992