i thought it was DeVino. William DeVino,no?
The Devino name is more than likely an internet invention by a wikipedia writer with a rich imagination. According to a report, dated back in the 1970s, a CI informed the FBI that a William Bentvena AKA Billy Batts, who operated in the same neighborhood as Henry Hill and a known drug trafficker who had served time in Lewisburg, was rumored to have been murdered. According to this CI, the rumor on the street was that his murder was over a drug deal.
William Bentvena was caught in 1959, in the same heroin network investigation that netted Galante and Ormento (among others) and later dubbed "The French Connection" by the press. But Bentvena was just a minor player, charged "only" for heroin possession. Another one arrested was the Gambino soldier JoJo Manfredi, who had married the day before and who was packing for his honey moon when FBN agents seized him.
There is a thread on here, "The French Connection trials of 1960 and 1963" describing the chaotic trials that followed. Can´t remember who posted it, but the thread is excellent!
Bentvena is mentioned briefly in there.
The first trial ended in a mistrial. In the second one, which started in April of 1963, Bentvena was convicted. Because he already had a prior conviction for violations of the narcotics law and a likelihood of him fleeing, the judge ruled that Bentvena would continue his incarceration while pending appeal. The appeal was unsuccessful and Bentvena was sent off to Lewisburg.
For months now, I and others have tried to locate a mug shot or a picture of Bentvena showing his face. We have been looking in basically all the online newspaper articles available that covered the bust and the trials. But to no avail. There doesn´t seem to be any pictures of him in those clippings. However, there might be something of interest in New York City Archives, which have DA file cases at the court building. If Bentvena´s case is filed there, I figure a mug shot of him is more than likely to be found. A friend of mine, who is living in NY, will check it out.
I´d love to see how Bentvena looked like!