By Dustin Brown
A Long Island City man was arrested last week for allegedly offering an undercover detective posing as a hit man thousands of dollars to kill two Ridgewood men he believed had stolen money from his Maspeth diner, the district attorney said.
Michael Diamantis, 69, of 34-39 42nd St., was charged with conspiracy and criminal possession of a weapon at his arraignment last Thursday in Queens Criminal Court, where Judge Suzanne Melendez set bail at $25,000, a spokesman for Queens DA Richard Brown said.
The defendant is alleged to have provided $300 in cash, a .25 caliber handgun and ammunition to an individual who he believed was a contract killer so he could get revenge on two men whom he believed had stolen $50,000 from him, Brown said in a release. Fortunately, as the result of superb investigative work by New York City Police Department detectives, the defendants plot was discovered and now he faces prosecution and certain punishment.
Diamantis, the owner of Clinton Diner and Bar at 56-26 Maspeth Ave. in Maspeth, allegedly sought the services of a hit man to kill the boyfriend of a former waitress and his father, Brown said. He believed Peter Nicolosi and his father Filippo Nicolosi, both residents of Grandview Avenue in Ridgewood, had stolen $50,000 that had been stashed in a paper bag and hidden inside the diner, Brown said.
Brad Wolk, the attorney representing Diamantis, did not return a phone call for comment.
Diamantis and the undercover detective posing as a hit man first met Sept. 18 at his restaurant, Brown said. The deal was allegedly sealed six days later at 9:30 p.m. in the Clinton Diner parking lot, when he handed over a gun, ammunition and $300 down-payment for the elder Nicolosis murder, the DA said.
He allegedly promised $2,000 more once the son was dead, Brown said.
Diamantis was arrested last Thursday near the diner at Rust Street and Maspeth Avenue in the 104th Precinct.
Detectives were tipped off by a person whom Diamantis allegedly had asked to help him find a hit man, the DA said.
He faces a sentence of up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2002 Community News Group
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