BOISE -- After 17 years on the run, the FBI says a member of a New England mob family was found near Marsing, Idaho.
Enrico Ponzo was arraigned in federal court in Boise on Wednesday. He disappeared in 1994 and faces charges from a 1997 indictment accusing him of racketeering, attempted murder and conspiracy to kill rival mobsters.
Neighbors knew him as Jay Shaw, a father and farmer who lived a few miles west of Marsing. But the FBI says Jay Shaw is actually Enrico Ponzo, a fugitive from the law since 1994.
Ponzo was was arrested Monday, and in court Wednesday he admitted that he was, in fact, Ponzo. He plead not guilty to the numerous other charges he faces out of Boston, including conspiracy to commit murder.
Aaron Lucoff, Criminal Chief for the District of Idaho with the U.S. Attorney's Office, admits this isn't the type of case Idaho normally sees.
Some of the gun charges, according to what the judge said today, a minimum of 30 years, up to life in prison, said Lucoff.
The FBI says Ponzo was involved in the New England La Cosa Nostra in the late 1980s, and that he conspired to murder and attempted to murder rival faction members.
They tell me his name is Enrico now, but to us, he's Jay, said Dale Sherard, who lived next door to Ponzo. He's gonna have to pay for his crimes because those are choices that he made when he was younger and he didn't have to do what he did, but as far as I'm concerned, I've got nothing bad to say about the man.
Neighbors we talked to said he'd been living at the same house near Marsing for about 10 years, which is where prosecutors say they found about 38 guns, and $15,000 in cash. People in the area still can't imagine the man they thought they knew, was facing these kinds of charges.
But we thought about little things, said neighbor CarolynWright. You know how you don't pay attention to things, until something like this comes up. And then I said, 'No wonder he knew so much about the legal system and he didn't work, and he never had to go without.'
I guess you can run, but you can't hide, said Sherard.
According to Ponzo, the woman he was living with in Marsing was his common-law wife, and they had two children together.A few months ago they separated. She and the children are in Utah now.
Neighbors say Ponzo always seemed like a devoted father and a very intelligent man. They also say they can see now why he paid for everything with cash, worked from home and avoided doctors visits.
Ponzo will have a detention hearing Friday in federal court in Boise. That will determine if he remains in police custody.