Court plays 'Mr. Softee' tapes in hit plot

Joseph Romano, left, and David Mirkovic in a Joseph Romano, left, and David Mirkovic in a government surveillance photo outside Romano's purported coin boiler room in Delray Beach, Fla. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

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Prosecutors in the trial of a Levittown man for conspiring to kill a Long Island federal judge played tapes of jailhouse conversations, using the name "Mr. Softee" as code for a hit man, in federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday.

Joseph Romano, 50, is charged with planning to kill Central Islip U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco and a prosecutor as revenge for his conviction and 15-year sentence in a coin fraud case.

In the recorded phone calls from Nassau County jail, jurors heard Romano discussing the hit man with accomplice Dejvid Mirkovic, a Florida man who has pleaded guilty. The purported hit man was an undercover agent.

In a different tape played Tuesday, Mirkovic tells the undercover agent that, in addition to murdering the judge and prosecutor, Romano wants "hospitalizations" for three defense lawyers who represented Romano, including one-time John 'Junior" Gotti lawyer Charles Carnesi.

"I couldn't believe the amount of money he spent on attorneys, and they just handed him over," Mirkovic told the undercover agent.

The trial resumes Thursday.

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