Lawyer for ex-DEA agent: Expenses mired in anti-Italian bias

BUFFALO, NY – A former federal agent’s attorney charged with $ 250,000 in bribes to protect the Mafia in Buffalo, New York, says the charges stem from racist animus toward Italian Americans.

Defense attorney James Harrington alleged in new filing that prosecutors had not identified a single cent that Joseph Bongiovanni put in bribes during his two decades with the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He claims that the government “envisioned” the existence of an Italian-American criminal syndicate in Buffalo.

The US Attorney’s Office in Buffalo declined to comment.

Bongiovanni pleaded not guilty, including conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

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