From LAS VEGAS SUN | Monday, May 24, 1999
Both sides came away smiling after Friday’s split verdict in the trial of two reputed Mafia members charged in the plot to murder Chicago underworld figure Herbie Blitzstein.
Robert Panaro, 57, an alleged soldier in the Buffalo mob, and Stephen Cino, 62, a suspected member of the Los Angeles mob, both were acquitted of all charges related to Blitzstein’s Jan. 6, 1997, slaying.
But a 12-member jury found the two men guilty of an extortion scheme to take over Blitzstein’s loan-sharking and insurance fraud operations. Blitzstein once was the top lieutenant of slain Chicago mob kingpin Anthony Spilotro, who controlled Las Vegas street rackets in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Cino also was convicted of 12 other federal charges, mostly related to a conspiracy to counterfeit travelers checks.
Cino praised the job of his father’s lawyer, Louis Palazzo, during the month-long trial…