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Murder plot defendant says he wants to 'do' judge, prosecutor in secret video

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. Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

Accused murder plotter Joseph Romano told a jailhouse snitch that he wanted to "do" a Long Island federal prosecutor and judge who imprisoned him for fraud, according to a secretly recorded video played for jurors in Brooklyn federal court Friday.

"Let me know what you want to do with -- -- Lara," snitch Gerald Machacek tells Romano an hour into their encounter in a holding cell in the Central Islip federal court. "Let me know what you want to do with her and the judge."

"God, I'd love to do both of them," responds Romano. "Kill both of the -- -- ."

Romano, 50, of Levittown, is accused of plotting to murder and decapitate prosecutor Lara Treinis Gatz and U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco in 2012 in revenge for his 15-year sentence in a $19 million coin fraud.

Machacek tipped off officials that Romano was making threats against the two at the Nassau County jail, and federal officials wired him for an arranged encounter at the federal court on Aug. 10, 2012.

Defense lawyers for Romano claim the talk was a pretense designed to give him a macho image with other inmates until Machacek "induced" him to go forward and connected him with an undercover agent posing as a hit man, who Romano hired.

The video played Friday features Romano and Machacek in a discussion that drifts from X-rated sex talk to expletive-filled strategizing about their legal cases. Romano brags frequently about how tough he is and fantasizes about escape.

In one instance, as Machacek tries to steer the discussion toward Bianco and Gatz, Romano shows no interest. "Huh?" he says when Machacek first tries to introduce Bianco by saying Romano must have "dreams" about him.

But on other occasions, Romano seems to relish disparaging the officials -- he describes Gatz as "Mick Jagger with a blonde wig" -- and devising creative revenge, from holding them prisoner in a hole or cutting off body parts, to having them eaten by rats or putting them in a cement mixer.

"This guy, I'd like to torture him," Romano says of Bianco.

"I'd love to torture him. Every time I think of something like, you know, I missed my daughter's communion. 'Did you go to your daughter's communion?' I cut one of your fingers off."

He also talks to Machacek about using supposed underworld contacts to take vengeance on a probation officer, five cooperating witnesses and two lawyers.

"You don't even have to kill them; just hurt them bad," he says at one point, while at another he considers escaping to Costa Rica and romancing cocktail waitresses. "I'm going to try the path of least resistance," he muses.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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