Corruption case against ex-DEA agent Bongiovanni to go back on trial

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The case against former DEA agent Joseph Bongiovanni, who is accused of corruption, will go back on trial.

Bongiovanni’s re-trial has been set for July 29 in front of Judge Lawrence Vilardo. Last month, a jury was only able to reach a verdict on three of the 15 charges against him.

After several attempts and long hours in the juror room, a mistrial was declared on 12 counts, including the most serious charges of conspiracy, accepting bribes and drug charges.
Bongiovanni was charged with accepting more than $250,000 in bribes from who the prosecution referred to as Italian organized crime members, who allegedly worked with the ex-DEA agent to derail investigations into themselves.

Prosecutors also allege Bongiovanni worked closely with co-defendant Peter Gerace, the owner of Pharoah’s Gentleman’s Club, saying the site was used for drugs and sex trafficking.

Federal government seeks juror from trial of former DEA agent Joseph Bongiovanni

In light of this new trial, prosecutors say they will “seriously consider” making a motion to rejoin the cases against Bongiovanni and Gerace.

Bongiovanni is not detained, but he has been ordered to wear an ankle monitor. His attorneys claimed in court today he is experiencing “medical distress” like swelling as a result.

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Marlee Tuskes is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.

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