Ex-mobster Salvatore Vitale, the former Bonanno crime family underboss who became one of the most significant government informers in U.S. mafia history, was sentenced to time served and shipped off to the witness protection program today. "Good Lookin Sal," 62, had previously admitted to participating in 11 murders, along with a host of other crimes such as extortion and gambling. But according to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, “Quite simply, Vitale has likely been the most important cooperator in the history of law enforcement efforts to prosecute the Mafia."
While Feds describe his assistance as "devastating," Vitale is considered a "super rat" to the mafia for all the information he revealed about their operation. Since his 2003 arrest, Vitale identified more than 500 mob members and associates, provided evidence about more than 30 murders, attempted murders, and murder conspiracies, and revealed secrets about all five New York-based Cosa Nostra families. Vitale told Judge Garaufis, "I've committed some horrible crimes which I'm truly ashamed of, and I pray for forgiveness." He was sentenced to time served, which has been seven years, plus five years probation.