Boston mobster changes mind, pleads guilty to Idaho charge

Enrico Ponzo
Enrico Ponzo

Boston mobster Enrico Ponzo entered a guilty plea Monday in federal court in Boise to a single count of unlawful possession of 33 firearms.

Ponzo, 47, had been scheduled to go to trial next month on 16 counts of weapons violations and identity theft. A plea agreement was filed Friday, one day after Senior U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge approved a government motion to dismiss 11 counts of identity theft and aggravated identity theft. Those charges were tied to numerous driver’s licenses and state identification cards Ponzo had illegally obtained during 16 years on the run.

Prosecutors agreed to drop three other weapons charges and possession of documents used to obtain the fake IDs in exchange for Ponzo’s guilty plea.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the weapons charge.

Ponzo spent more than a decade in Idaho posing as a Marsing rancher, Jeffrey John “Jay” Shaw. Authorities learned Ponzo’s real identity and took him into custody on Feb. 11, 2011. Police then seized 22 rifles, eight handguns and 34,000 rounds of ammunition from his home in the 6100 block of Hogg Road, located south of the Snake River between Homedale and Marsing.

He was returned to Boston to face numerous charges, and in 2014 was sentenced to 28 years after a jury found him responsible for the attempted killings of two rivals, including Mafia leader Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme.

Ponzo was an associate of a faction of the New England Mafia that was involved in a bloody power struggle in the late 1980s.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell