BOISE, Idaho – A Boston mobster who posed as an Idaho rancher for more than a decade goes to court in Boise next month.
Enrico Ponzo, 47, is representing himself and plans to argue that he suffered from a mental defect, reported the Idaho Statesman (http://bit.ly/1J6Pzoc ). His court filing did not give details on his mental condition, but noted that the judge who oversaw his 2013 Boston trial ordered treatment for a "mental defect."
Ponzo went by the name Jeffrey John "Jay" Shaw while living in Idaho. He is charged with the unlawful possession of firearms, identity theft and possession of documents with intent to use them fraudulently.
He was arrested in February 2011 after authorities were tipped off about his true identity. They found 22 rifles, eight handguns and 34,000 rounds of ammunition at his home near Marsing.
In addition, police seized $100,000 in cash and $65,000 worth of gold coins from the home. They said there was also evidence that a floor safe had been looted.
Authorities also found forged driver's licenses and ID cards with the names of at least 10 people Ponzo impersonated during his 16 years on the run. He hid out in five different states before moving to Idaho.
Senior U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge advised Ponzo against self-representation, but the man "insisted that he be allowed to represent himself," Lodge wrote.
Boise attorney Jeff Brownson will attend the trial as "standby counsel" for Ponzo. He can help Ponzo with procedural questions but will not be allowed to question witnesses or advance the defense case.
In the Idaho case, Ponzo faces up to 10 years in prison on each weapons charge and up to five years for each fraudulent document charge. Identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence for each count and it must be served separately from any other sentence.
A Boston jury found Ponzo responsible for trying to kill two rivals, including a Mafia leader who was shot outside a restaurant by masked men. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison and ordered to give up $2.3 million in drug profits.
At the Boston sentencing, Ponzo said he was a changed man who had lived a crime-free life for 18 years.
"After all the posturing, rhetoric, excuses, blaming others, the time has come for you to pay for your crimes," the judge told him, according to the Boston Globe. "You can run, but ultimately you cannot hide from your sordid past in organized crime."
Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com