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Jailed mobster wants personal items back

A jailed mobster who used to live in Somerville demanded in a court filing Monday that federal investigators return several personal items to him, including knives, compact discs, and bags of quarters.

Ralph F. DeLeo — a reputed “street boss” of the Colombo crime family who pleaded guilty in 2012 in federal court in Boston to running a criminal enterprise that engaged in drug dealing, extortion, and loan sharking — wrote in his filing that he is entitled to several items that authorities seized at the time of his arrest.

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DeLeo, 70, wrote that the roughly two dozen items were “not subject to court forfeiture.”

Forfeiture orders are entered against convicted defendants. The orders usually seek cash and other items that are linked to criminal behavior.

DeLeo’s list of items that he would like back includes “1. The watches, 2. three bags of quarters approximately fifteen hundred dollars . . . 13. knives, 14. computer, 15. CD’s,” gold coins, and a pellet gun, he wrote.

He added that defense lawyers had previously contacted US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz’s office about the matter, and he said that her staff indicated “that they will look into it.”

A spokeswoman for Ortiz did not respond to inquiries on Monday evening.

DeLeo is serving his sentence at a medium security prison in North Carolina, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. He is scheduled to be released in October 2025.

Anthony M. Cardinale, a Boston defense lawyer who has represented organized crime figures, said in a phone interview that he could not recall a similar motion from a defendant.

“But he’s done his homework, and I’m sure he feels that what he’s doing is appropriate,” Cardinale said. “He must have some basis for it. Good luck to him.”

Milton J. Valencia and Shelley Murphy of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.
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