Alleged Genovese crime family member Salvatore Larca was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in federal prison on Wednesday, having been previously convicted for his role in an extensive marijuana distribution network that involved other high-profile mobster personalities.
In a pre-sentence letter to the court, Salvatore's attorney attempted to use the recent trend of pot legalization to suggest an 84-month (7-year) sentence would be most appropriate for his client.
While US District Judge Richard J. Sullivan acknowledged the pro-cannabis cultural shift, he wasn't buying the defense's argument: "Marijuana, I think our society is having second thoughts and a new conversation about … but this case is not really about marijuana. It's about trafficking."
Still, Larca's 114-month sentence was slightly less than the 126-to-159 months the feds were seeking. Larca, 45, was originally busted in April 2013 when authorities raided a Bronx warehouse with 40,000 pounds of pot imported from California.
Also involved in the interstate weed operation were a son of infamous convicted crime boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano and "Mama's Boys of the Bronx" reality TV star Anthony Zoccolillo, who served as an informant and wore a "wire" in getting Larca to disclose his pot importing scheme.