Published On: Tue, Apr 29th, 2014

Enrico Ponzo sentenced to 28 years in prison in Boston mafia hit man case

The headlines call him the “Hitman turned rancher” as a judge proclaimed the sentence of 28 years in prison for the failed hit on a New England mob boss. The man has lived an alternate life as Jeff Shaw before being nabbed by authorities.

Enrico Ponzo, 45, received a lecture by the judge as the sentence came down: 28 years — less than the 40 requested by prosecutors — with three years of supervised release. Ponzo has been convicted in two botched mob hits, and other crimes, more specifically the 1989 attempted murder of New England mob boss Francis P. Salemme and the 1994 attempted murder of Joseph Cirame, both of whom were shot and seriously injured.

“You can run, but ultimately you can’t hide from your sordid past in organized crime,” U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton said, noting Ponzo was part of a mob faction that “imposed a reign of terror on the city of Boston.”

Gorton added, “You were no better than today’s terrorists in the Middle East or the fascist dictators of the past century. … You are the personification of a career criminal.”

Letters of support from Idahoans who knew “on-the-lam” Boston hit man Enrico M. Ponzo as a doting father, cattle rancher and neighborhood activist named Jeff Shaw. These failed to convince a federal court judge to go easy on the man.

Ponzo, who spent 16 years on the run, including a decade as a cattle rancher in Idaho under an alias, was described as a ‘‘vicious, violent, cold-blooded criminal.’’ Ponzo, representing himself, requested 15 years or less. He says he lived a ‘‘hard-working, selfless life in Idaho . . . as a stay-at-home dad’’ and community volunteer.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said, “This case should send a clear message that we take seriously our commitment to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions, even after many years on the run. The severity of today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of his actions and I believe that it adequately addresses the violent nature of his crimes.”

Enrico Ponzo aka Jeff Shaw  photo supplied/FBI

Enrico Ponzo aka Jeff Shaw photo supplied/FBI

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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