BOISE -- Friends and neighbors are still in shock after a man living in Marsingwas arrested and accused of numerous crimes associated with being a mobster.
Forty-two-year-old Enrico Ponzo will remain in police custody and be transported from Boise to Massachusetts to face multiple charges there, including attempted murder.
The decision was handed down Friday in federal court as new revelations came to light about the case, including possible possession of white supremacist materials.
At the detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush said he didn't hear enough evidence to assure him that Ponzo would be at his arraignment in Boston, that the safety of the community could be assured, and that Ponzo was, in fact, a changed man.
I think the judge very carefully evaluated the factors he has to under the federal detention statute, made an analysis of whether Mr. Ponzo was a risk of flight, or a danger to the community, and reached the decision that he was, in fact, both of those things, said U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson.
Ponzo, who showed up today without the goatee he had for his arraignment in Boise, had been living near Marsing for 10 years under the assumed name of Jay Shaw.
It actually sounds like a movie to me, said neighbor Kelly Verceles.
His neighbors testified that Ponzo was a wonderful father who never showed any violent tendencies. One neighbor called him, the most responsible person she'd ever met.
His attorney argued that he was a changed man, and that while Ponzo is his name, Jay Shaw was the man before us.
I hope the best for him, said Verceles. Heck if I gotta go to Boston to help him in any way I can, I'm willing to do that. He's family to me, actually.
Ponzo's good friend, Kelly Verceles, says he'd take his word to the grave, and believes him when Ponzo said in court that he was hiding his identity from his friends because he feared that people were still trying to kill him and might harm his friends.
I totally understand that from what I've been reading on the Internet, said Verceles. I can see that. And Jay as a father, he's very protective, and I can see him protecting his kids, as well as his friends.
Prosecutors pointed out that a bust of Adolph Hitler and white supremacist patches were found in a safe in Ponzo's basement.
Verceles said he believes those belong to Ponzo's ex-common-law wife who is now living out of state with their two children.
She never admitted to that, but did claim that she owned the 38 guns -- many of them assault rifles -- found in that same safe.
The judge disagreed.
An FBI agent also pointed out that Ponzo had numerous fake ID's in his house.
I could call him Enrico, I could call him Jay. He's still my friend, and the person I know, and that I've known for 9-10 years, said Verceles.
Ponzo became emotional when his sister, who he hasn't seen in about 20 years, testified via telephone.
She said she believed her brother had changed, and offered to take him in as a third-party custodian while he awaited trial in Boston.
Judge Bush said he appreciated that, but again, denied his release.
Ponzo will now be taken by U.S. marshals to Massachusetts to await arraignment there.
He does have the option of requesting another detention hearing at that time.