Art heist suspect must report to prison Friday after judge grants extension


A suspect in a high-profile theft ring targeting art, sports memorabilia and other valuables now has until Friday morning to report to prison after a federal judge granted another extension.

Thomas Trotta, a 48-year-old Dunmore man who pleaded guilty in July for his role in the crime ring that spanned two decades, violated the conditions of his release and recently had that release revoked, meaning he must return to federal custody pending sentencing.

While Trotta was originally required to surrender May 3, federal Judge Joseph Saporito Jr. twice granted motions extending that date. Saporito’s most recent order requires Trotta to report to the U.S. Marshals Service in Scranton by 10 a.m. Friday.

“No further extensions shall be granted without supporting medical documentation establishing good cause,” the order notes.

Trotta, recently featured in a “60 Minutes” segment on the theft ring, was one of nine Lackawanna County residents charged for their roles in the extensive crime spree that spanned multiple states

Among other thefts, prosecutors accused him of stealing baseball great Christy Mathewson’s jersey and contracts from Keystone College in 1999, art from the Everhart Museum in 2005, a century-old Tiffany lamp from the Lackawanna Historical Society in 2010 and Yogi Berra World Series rings from Berra’s museum in 2014.

Trotta ultimately pleaded guilty to a count of theft of major artwork, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

What Trotta did to violate the conditions of his release remains unclear, but Dunmore police charged him in early April with felony theft and other criminal counts for stealing watches, gift cards and jewelry from a borough home in January. Police then withdrew those charges, though it’s not clear why.

The eight others charged last year in the theft-ring investigation were Trotta’s sister, Dawn Trotta, as well as Nicholas Dombek, Damien Boland, Daryl Rinker, Francesco “Frank” Tassiello, Ralph Parry and brothers Alfred and Joseph Atsus

Thomas Trotta, Dawn Trotta, Tassiello and Parry all pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Rinker also pleaded guilty but died last month.

Dombek, Boland and the Atsus brothers all pleaded not guilty. Their trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 23 at the federal courthouse in Scranton.

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