BY JOHN MARZULLI
A plea for mercy from the widow of a hero firefighter didn't do much good for a reputed Colombo gangster who was sentenced Thursday to 70 months in prison for drugs and money laundering crimes.
John Cerbone, 43, who does double duty as a plumber and a goodfella, tried to portray himself as a good guy, too, in his bid for a five-year sentence.
Linda Graffagnino had written to Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis that Cerbone had helped take care of her two young children after her husband Joseph was killed in the Deutsche Bank fire in 2007. Cerbone is a longtime friend of Linda Graffagnino and is dating her sister.
"He's a good guy, that's wonderful," Garaufis said. "But he also had to do what he has to do to be law-abiding in other respects."
Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes stated in court papers that Cerbone is a member of Colombo capo Joseph Amato's crew, and had suggested to an informant last year that he had been inducted into the crime family as a made man.
Cerbone is a triplet and his two brothers attended the sentencing. Last year Cerbone tried to pass himself off as his brother Joseph when a Drug Enforcement Administration agent handed him a subpoena.
The mobster shed his blue dress shirt and donned a red T-shirt in a pathetic attempt to confuse the media outside Brooklyn Federal Court. Linda Graffagnino declined to comment.
Cerbone pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone pills, and laundering the illicit proceeds after he was caught in a sting operation.