Once a killer, always a killer, the feds say.
Prosecutors want to keep an aging New York City gangster locked up for life because a law-enforcement agent is worried that the mobster will seek revenge against G-men if he gets out — but a judge wants to hear from the investigator before he decides.
Former Gambino crime-family associate Mark Reiter, 74, was sent away in 1988 for running one of the city’s biggest heroin-dealing operations and ordering three murders to protect his racket.
During his time behind bars, he was photographed posing as a singer in a mobbed-up mock rock band at California’s Lompoc federal prison, along with the late Colombo family boss Carmine “Junior” Persico, Gambino family hitman Anthony Senter and late Joseph “J.R.” Russo, a killer for New England’s Patriarca family.
But since that pic was shot in 1990, Reiter has been beset by health problems and now suffers from conditions including obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to Manhattan federal court papers filed in support of his request for compassionate release.
Prosecutors, however, contend that Reiter — who’s locked up at a low-security federal prison near Allenwood, Pa. — deserves to rot there because of the “nature and circumstances” of his crimes, “which … clearly involved serious and extreme violence.”
In addition, Assistant US Attorney Timothy Capozzi wrote, he “was contacted by an agent who assisted with the investigation of Reiter, who expressed serious concern about the possibility of retribution against law enforcement and those who aided law enforcement in the defendant’s prosecution should the defendant be released.
“Such concerns are understandable given the defendant’s offense conduct, which included ordering multiple murders, including the murder of a cooperator,” Capozzi added.
In an order handed down last week, Manhattan federal Judge Vernon Broderick denied Reiter’s request for a hearing with testimony from the unidentified agent but said, “To be clear, I take any possibility of violence against members of law enforcement as a serious issue.”
Broderick then gave prosecutors a Thursday deadline to submit an affidavit identifying the agent and spelling out the “specific concerns about any individuals whom Defendant might harm, and how he might harm them, if Defendant were released,” including “any and all bases for the agent’s concerns.”
The development was first reported by the Gangland News website.
Reiter’s lawyer, Harlan Protass, told The Post on Friday, “I do not believe he poses a threat to anyone, including law enforcement, based on what I know about him, what I’ve read about him and how he’s conducted himself in prison.
“He is a different man than he was 35 years ago,” Protass added.
A spokesman for Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams declined to comment.