Purported mob captain Mark Rossetti, who for the first time was publicly identified by law enforcement as a federal informant, was sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison by a Suffolk Superior Court judge Thursday.
Called "the definition of a career criminal" by a prosecutor, Rossetti was hit with a sentence far above the sentencing guidelines for the crime he was found guilty of – planning a robbery of a Roslindale drug dealer's house - because of his past.
The case is even more significant because, during the investigation, a State Police wiretap picked up Rossetti talking to his FBI handler. It was later revealed that Rossetti has been a long-time FBI informant despite being convicted of serious crimes and being a suspect in several murders, raising questions about the FBI's use of a purported high-level mobster as an informant.
In court, Assistant Attorney General Dean Mazzone identified Rossetti as a captain in La Cosa Nostra and said his working as an informant while committing crimes justified a tough 9-and-a-half to 10-year sentence.
"Over the course of the wiretap this defendant was apparently providing information to federal law enforcement and while he was doing so he was committing numerous crimes, one of which was this crime for which he was convicted at the trial," Mazzone said.
Rossetti's defense attorney says his client has some serious health issues and asked for a 3-year sentence. But Judge Thomas Connors had little leniency in handing down his sentence, which will be reduced for time served since his 2010 arrest.
"Mr. Rossetti is no longer a young man but I fear his prospects for rehabilitation at this point are perhaps somewhat slim and from what the court saw of his past record, the repetitiveness of his crime. Once again the context of his crime is significant," Connors said.
After the judge imposed that sentence, Rossetti's lawyer said there were "safety concerns" about his client's being in prison and asked the judge to make sure the Department of Correction addresses the issue.
Rossetti is still facing other trials in Essex and Suffolk counties, and the FBI's use of him as an informant is also under review by the US Department of Justice.