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Surge Desk

Enrico Ponzo: 5 Facts on the Accused Mobster Nabbed on an Idaho Ranch

Feb 10, 2011 – 4:06 PM
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Mary Phillips-Sandy Contributor

Once a city slicker, always a city slicker.

Enrico Ponzo, an alleged mobster on the run from the FBI, was arrested Monday at a ranch in rural Marsing, Idaho, where he'd been living under the alias "Jay Shaw."

Marsing residents said they'd always had a few suspicions about "Jay," who was remarkably skilled with firearms and remarkably bad at ranching.

Ponzo is being held without bail until a hearing Friday. Surge Desk has five facts on the man who didn't get away.

1. He's charged with attempted murder
Ponzo was allegedly involved with the New England mafia in the 1980s. Authorities say he was involved in the 1989 attempted murder of "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, former head of the Patriarca family.

2. He has a lengthy rap sheet
In 1994, Ponzo was arrested on drug charges, and additional warrants were issued when he failed to appear in court. Authorities believe he went on the lam around this time. Two years later he was charged with aggravated assault in Everett, Mass., and a federal jury subsequently indicted him on a number of charges related to these and other incidents, including conspiracy to commit murder.

3. It took a lot of people to find him
FBI officials in Massachusetts and Idaho worked with a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force; the Treasure Valley (Idaho) Metro Violent Crime Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and local authorities to track and arrest Ponzo.

4. He tried to start a new life in Idaho
The Idaho Statesman reports that the 42-year-old Ponzo lived on a 12-acre homestead with his girlfriend, Cara Lyn Pace, and two young children. The couple said they had been together for a long time and that "Jay" did Web design and computer work in addition to maintaining his ranch. Pace reportedly moved out with the kids at Christmas, prompting Ponzo to file a custody suit.

5. He managed to make some friends
Ponzo helped his neighbors with their computer problems, The Statesman notes, and he attended dinners at their homes. He also got involved with managing local irrigation issues. The owner of a local restaurant described him as "quiet and very friendly."

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