He'd rather face more time "in the hole" than mob justice. A crook who ratted out one of the late John Gotti's most notoriously ruthless henchman was sentenced yesterday to time served for engineering a botched FedEx truck hijacking.
Mob rat: keep me in prison
Fears hit if freed now
By LACHLAN CARTWRIGHT • New York Post
He'd rather face more time "in the hole" than mob justice.
A crook who ratted out one of the late John Gotti's most notoriously ruthless henchman was sentenced yesterday to time served for engineering a botched FedEx truck hijacking.
But turncoat Brian Greenwald, who's been rotting in jail for 27 months -- the last seven in solitary confinement, a k a "the hole" -- instead begged the judge to stay in the slammer rather than risk retribution from a feared gangland gunslinger who was the alleged backup shooter at the 1985 murder of Gambino don Paul Castellano.
"I testified against a certain individual who is life-threatening for me," a pasty-faced, gaunt Greenwald pleaded in court, referring to Joe "The German" Watts, the reputed assassin who allegedly notched 11 mob hits for Gotti's crew.
"I've had to watch my back for organized-crime retaliation. I've learned recently they are trying to find out where I am. I've been in four separate jails and spent the last seven months in segregation," he told Manhattan federal court Judge Harold Baer.
The slick-looking, stone-hearted Watts -- who never became a "made" mobster because he wasn't Italian, but who became a trusted capo who'd deliver swift mob justice -- has spent nearly two decades in prison on a variety of charges, including a murder-conspiracy case for which he's awaiting sentencing next month.
Watts, 63, pleaded guilty in January to setting up the slaying of Staten Island sanitation exec Fred Weiss, whom Gotti thought was a two-timer.
But though Greenwald, 40, appeared petrified at the prospect of comeuppance from Watts, Judge Baer wasn't sympathetic.
"I pass sentence -- I don't make a decision to your welfare or survival," the judge lectured. "You've had two years to get your act together. You always knew this was going to be a problem."
As Greenwald cupped his head in his hands -- his face a picture of grief and fear -- Baer said the crook had two choices: Leave, or spend the next 60 days behind bars until they work out his entering the witness protection program.
Greenwald took the latter.
"Today is the first time I've seen daylight for 60 days," Greenwald whined. "If this is the only choice . . . I'll take the 60 [days]."
Authorities refused, for security reasons, to say exactly in which Queens facility Greenwald is currently being held.
The feds believe Greenwald -- who was president of Doppelt & Greenwald in the Diamond District -- was the mastermind behind a nearly $5 million gem heist in 2005 by two men in FedEx uniforms, documents show.
But he was busted in 2008 for a botched $1 million heist by bumbling thugs who couldn't figure out how to offload the gems in a hijacked FedEx truck.
As part of his plea deal in the case, Greenwald admitted laundering a load of cash for Watts, The Post has reported.
The person who sent me this says Greenwald is now Orthodox but grew up as a Satmar hasid.