- Last Updated: 12:57 AM, June 26, 2012
- Posted: 12:57 AM, June 26, 2012
They’re making a federal case out of it — thanks to a bottle of water.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors entered a bottle of Aquafina water into evidence in the murder and extortion trial of reputed Colombo associate Francis “BF” Guerra yesterday, solely to establish that the feds have jurisdiction.
The bottle was manufactured in Massachusetts, but was being sold at a Staten Island pizzeria that’s at the center of the alleged extortion plot. The pizzeria’s owner had allegedly stolen the secret pizza-sauce recipe of Brooklyn’s L&B Spumoni Gardens. Guerra, whose wife’s family owned Spumoni Gardens, allegedly wanted cash compensation.
The fact that the bottle had crossed state lines is all the feds need to assert that the case involved interstate commerce, and thus claim it for their own.
It’s not the first time that a refreshing beverage has played center stage in a Columbo mob trial. The feds introduced a bottle of Corona beer into evidence in 2009 to assert jurisdiction over three wiseguys accused of beating two men who robbed a mobbed-up Long Island club.