DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

The "Lawman" And The Mobster

Deputy Chief Steven Seagal once sought mafioso's help

Angelo Prisco & Steven Seagal

View Document

The "Lawman" And The Mobster

DECEMBER 2--So Steven Seagal is starring in a new reality series about his work as a "fully commissioned" officer with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana. The 57-year-old actor, who carries the title "Deputy Chief," has "gone out on patrol and worked major cases" for nearly 20 years, according to the A&E network, which is broadcasting "Steven Seagal Lawman."

But when Seagal once found himself in a financial beef with a Mafia-backed partner, he did not react like a veteran law enforcement official, FBI records show. In the face of heavy pressure to fork over millions, the maximum lawman "considered the possibility of taking his problem to the FBI/law enforcement, but he did not believe they would be able to help him," according to 2002 FBI reports detailing several interviews with Seagal (who was accompanied by four lawyers).

Instead of consulting fellow brothers in blue, Seagal met twice with Angelo Prisco, a Genovese family captain then residing in New Jersey's Rahway State Prison. Seagal sought Prisco's help in dealing with Anthony "Sonny" Ciccone, a Gambino family captain affiliated with Seagal's partner.

Seagal told FBI agents that during one of his jailhouse meetings with Prisco, the hoodlum explained that the government was trying to add extra time to his sentence. "Seagal wanted to help Prisco because Prisco was helping Seagal with the problem with Ciccone," agents noted, so the actor "reached out for an attorney" whom Seagal paid $10,000 in "legal fees so the attorney would help Prisco."

After contacting Prisco, the pressure directed at Deputy Chief Seagal by Ciccone & Co. ceased. Prisco, whose Genovese induction was sponsored by family powers Vincent "Chin" Gigante and his brother Mario, is pictured in the mug shot at left. In August, Prisco, 70, was sentenced to life in prison following his conviction for racketeering (he engaged in mob staples like murder, robbery, extortion, arson, gambling, and loansharking).

Last September, when agents visited Prisco at a South Carolina prison to inform him of his impending RICO indictment, he spoke candidly about several mob matters, according to an FBI report. Acknowledging that he was now "going to die in prison," Prisco said that while he suffered from diabetes and had been "taking good care of himself," he "intends to stop taking care of himself and eat whatever he wants to eat." (6 pages)