Boston mafioso posing as Idaho rancher pleads guilty to gun charges

FBI Wanted poster for Enrico Ponzo

FBI Wanted poster for Enrico Ponzo

A Boston Mafia associate, a fugitive from the law for 16 years, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of firearms charges in the a Boise federal court, the Justice Department said Monday.

Enrico Ponzo, also known as Jay Shaw, who posed as a rancher in Marsing, Idaho, while on the run from a number of charges in Boston, admitted in federal court Monday to having knowingly possessed 33 firearms on Feb. 8, 2011 — the date of his arrest by the FBI and U.S. Marshals — despite having been convicted of felony assault and battery on a public employee.

According to Ponzo’s indictment, at the time of his arrest, law enforcement officials seized a total of 33 pistols, rifles and shotguns from his residence.

Additionally, authorities seized Ponzo’s land and home, more than $100,000 in cash; personal property including precious metals and jewelry, and eight vehicles including a 2002 Harley Davidson Motorcycle and a 1952 Willey’s Jeep.

Prior to his guilty plea, Ponzo was facing four counts of unlawful firearms possession, as well as 12 counts of various identity theft-related charges.

However, according to the plea agreement Ponzo accepted, if he willingly pleaded guilty to possession of the 33 firearms in his possession at the time of his arrest, the federal government agreed to drop the other three unlawful possession of firearms charges. Additionally, Ponzo is expected to provide any needed information requested by the federal government to help prepare his presentence report.

Following the arrest in Idaho, Ponzo was returned to Boston to face numerous charges, and in Nov. 2013 — following a seven-week-long jury trial — Ponzo was found guilty of many crimes and sentenced to 28 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton, according to the release.

Overall, the jury found Ponzo guilty of two counts of attempted murder; racketeering; murder conspiracy in aid of racketeering; firearm possession in relation to murder conspiracy; extortion; conspiracy to extort; money laundering; attempted witness tampering; unlawful flight to avoid prosecution; and conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

Sentencing for Ponzo’s Idaho unlawful firearm case is set for April 14, 2016, in the courtroom of Senior U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge.

Unlawfully possessing firearms is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a max fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.