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By PATRICIA MEADE



Published: Sat, May 11, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- After 221/2 years in prison, Ronald D. Carabbia -- who blew a Cleveland mobster to bits -- has earned parole.

A remote-controlled bomb killed Cleveland waterfront boss Daniel J. Greene in October 1977 outside a dentist's office in the Cleveland suburb of Lyndhurst. A year later, a jury in Cuyahoga County found Carabbia and another man guilty of aggravated murder and aggravated arson and both received life in prison.

Carabbia, once reputed to be the boss of organized crime in Youngstown, also received a 12-year federal racketeering sentence in 1982. It ran concurrent with the state time.

Carabbia, 73, will be released "on or after" May 20 to Youngstown, said JoEllen Culp at the Adult Parole Authority in Columbus. It hasn't been determined yet whether he will be released to live with a family member, friend or on his own, she said Friday.

The FBI is not happy.

"We feel he received the punishment that was just and he should continue his sentence. He took part in a vicious gangland murder and as far as we're concerned, he should remain in prison," said FBI Special Agent John Kane, head of the bureau's Boardman office. "We would expect him to take a role in organized crime once he gets out -- it's not like old generals who just fade away."

Five years of parole

Once back in town, Carabbia must sign up with the APA on Belmont Avenue. He will be on parole for five years.

Originally from Poland, Carabbia was 50 when he entered the state prison system in November 1979. He has been incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution since March 1981.

The parole board received one letter opposing his release and seven supporting it, Culp said. The letters are not public record, officials said.

Carabbia's criminal history dates to the late 1950s, when police started questioning him about car-bombing deaths, gambling operations and burglaries.

In the late 1960s, he spent 10 months in a federal prison on a tax conviction. He received probation on gambling charges in 1973.

The Greene murder brought forth a turncoat witness, confessed hit man Raymond W. Ferritto. Ferritto said Carabbia helped rig the bomb and threw the switch.

Carabbia claimed he was at a football game in Struthers when Greene was killed.

Carmen A. Policy, now president of the Cleveland Browns, was Carabbia's attorney for the Greene murder trial. Policy challenged the testimony of prosecution witnesses, calling them liars and perverts.

Brothers' notoriety

Carabbia's brothers, Orlando and Charles, were organized crime newsmakers, too. Secret audiotapes they made with James A. Traficant Jr. during his run for Mahoning County sheriff in 1980 were later used to indict him on bribery charges in 1982.

Traficant, as sheriff, beat the charges in 1983. He lost an offshoot tax case in 1987 when the judge concluded he failed to report $163,000 in mob bribes as income.

He went on to win election to Congress in 1984.

Traficant was found guilty last month of racketeering and tax evasion and will be sentenced June 27. The 61-year-old congressman has said he will appeal.

Charles Carabbia was reported missing in December 1980 and declared dead in 1988 when an FBI agent testified he had been killed.

meade@vindy.com




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