January 1, 1997 in Nation/World

38 Mafia Members Sentenced To Prison

Compiled From Wire Services

A court sentenced 38 Mafia members to prison Tuesday in the last of several trials that grew out of a probe of drug trafficking in the early 1980s.

Most of hundreds of defendants - including the most notorious - were tried and convicted in Italy’s first “maxi” trial in 1986-1987. The case was first prosecuted by Giovanni Falcone, the anti-Mafia hero who was killed by a bomb blamed on top Sicilian mob bosses in 1992.

Dozens of defendants had their wide-ranging criminal cases put off for years for procedural reasons.

The stiffest sentence inflicted Tuesday was a 24-year prison term for Salvatore Lo Piccolo, a reputed Palermo Mafia boss, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

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