The leader of a burglary ring blamed for the death of a 78-year-old Western New York comic book collector has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Rico Vendetti told the court he was ashamed and sorry as he was sentenced in federal court in Buffalo Wednesday.
He pleaded guilty to racketeering in December 2014, more than four years after the heart attack death of Homer Marciniak. Authorities say the elderly man died shortly after members of Vendetti's group broke into Marciniak's Medina home to steal his comic books, striking him in the face and tying him up in the process.
Prosecutors say Vendetti is a former pawn shop owner who for years paid shoplifters to steal merchandise from retailers so that he could sell it in his shop.