Strollo associate Altshuler dies in prison

Bernard Altshuler, an associate of one-time Valley mob boss Lenine “Lenny” Strollo, has died.

According to Federal Bureau of Prisons, Altshuler, 80, died recently at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo. The center is an administrative facility that provides medical, mental health and dental services to male offenders.

There was no indication of the cause of death.

Altshuler – along with Jeffrey Riddle Jr. and Lavance Turnage – was convicted of racketeering, including the specific racketeering acts of murdering Strollo’s rival mobster, Ernie Biondillo on June 3, 1996; conspiring to murder Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains, who was shot on Dec. 24, 1996; and conducting illegal casino-style gambling activities. They also were found guilty of racketeering conspiracy and gambling charges.

In addition, Riddle and Turnage were convicted on a separate charge of violent crimes in aid of racketeering for their roles in Biondillo’s death.

A jury deliberated two days and heard six days of testimony before finding Riddle and the others guilty.

Riddle, 53, died Sept. 20. in West Virginia, according to an announcement by L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home.

Strollo was reported to be somewhere in the federal Witness Protection Program in January 2005, one year after he was sentenced to 152 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act and one count of tax evasion and filing a false tax return.