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Feds seek to drop case against mob associate in perjury case

Target 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A New England mob associate has completed a pretrial diversion program, and federal prosecutors are now willing to drop the criminal perjury case against him.

Gaythorne “Poochie” Angell, 84, is facing one count of perjury for allegedly lying to prosecutors about whether the Foxy Lady strip club was giving protection payments to organized crime figures.

In a federal court filing Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ferland asked to have the charge against Angell dismissed by the court because Angell “has successfully completed the Pretrial Diversion Program.”

The diversion program is run by the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System and includes supervision and other services as an alternative to the normal criminal justice path that can end with prison time. Candidates for the program must have a relatively clean record.

Jim Martin, a spokesperson for Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman, said both defense and prosecution approached probation to see if Angell would be a good candidate for the program, and he was accepted.

“He has successfully completed the program,” Martin said.

In July, Target 12 reported the case was likely going to conclude prior to trial after Ferland asked a judge for more time because “it is highly likely this case will be resolved by that time.”

Prosecutors have described Angell in court documents as a “consultant and operator” of the Foxy Lady.

Investigators say Angell lied during a June 2011 grand jury investigation when he was asked questions about whether the Foxy Lady was making protection payments to mob capo Edward “Eddie” Lato.

Mob cap Edward Lato

“So it’s your testimony here today that Eddie Lato was not deriving any money from the Foxy Lady, is that right?” a prosecutor asked, according to a transcript.

“Correct,” Angell responded.

That same year, Lato was one of several New England mobsters caught up in a sweeping sting into organized crime. He eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy for shaking down strip clubs – including the Foxy Lady – for protection money and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Former New England mob boss Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio was also swept up in the case.

Lato was released to a Pawtucket halfway house in January and officially completed his sentence this summer.

U.S. District Chief Judge William Smith still has to sign off on the motion to dismiss.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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